NAA, ASNE Join Forces to Grow Audience

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By: E&P Staff

The Newspaper Association of America and the American Society of Newspaper Editors have joined together to form the Audience Development Initiative. The project, which will span several years, brings the newsroom and the business side of the house together in an effort to aggressively grow readership of print and online products.

“It is imperative that newspaper companies have as deep an understanding as possible of the rapidly changing media landscape, in order to refine and develop products that our customers want,” John Sturm, NAA president and CEO, said in a statement. “Newspapers have shown a remarkable ability to innovate and extend their brands to online and other products. This new initiative will take the next step by looking at the entire media marketplace, identifying successes and opportunities, and putting it all at the fingertips of newspaper executives everywhere.”

The initiative builds on the work and findings of the Readership Institute at Northwestern University’s Media Management Center.

The first two components of the project — developing strategy based on a study of consumer media behavior, and identifying best practices — will begin immediately. Reports are due out later this year. The entire “tool kit” will be available by the end of 2006.

Susan Clark-Johnson, publisher and CEO of The Arizona Republic and NAA board member, and Gilbert Bailon, publisher and editor of Al D?a in Dallas and ASNE board member, co-chair the project’s steering committee.

“This national initiative is an important cooperation that extends the previous work of growing newspaper readership into new arenas of online, niche publications, and magazines, which many newspaper companies operate but often have yet to realize the full potential of those combined audiences,” Bailon said in a statement.

The projects Web site is at www.growingaudience.com.

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