Growing up, Lon Haenel- who recently was appointed vice president and chief client officer at Newspaper Subscription Services (NSS)- always wanted to work in newspapers. Modern-day newspapering hits on sales, marketing, technologic solutions, and data. “It was my childhood dream,” he said.
With a background in consumer marketing, he headed for the Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio to explore options at the former Gatehouse Media's #1 daily newspaper (now Gannett). He “stumbled” into technologic solutions that grew the newspaper's digital and print audience revenue.
"Saving journalism is why I get up every day. It's the golden key that unlocks my workday every day,“ he said. “It satisfies my personal needs around journalism and the communities it serves.” That “golden key” kept Haenel in the newspaper business for more than 24 years.
Now at Newspaper Subscription Services, he is looking at ways to differentiate the company and create unparalleled value for the clients his firm serves. "Lon has a solid foundation in the newspaper business," said Frank Vega, founder and president of Newspaper Subscription Services. "NSS and our clients are lucky that we have Lon onboard," he said.
"Smart growth -- that's what I'm addicted to," Haenel said. "Finding opportunities. Developing solutions. Delivering on the NSS high-impact and cost-effective brand promise. Newspaper Subscription Services is poised to deliver unique solutions into a marketplace scattered with high-cost providers." Haenel said that the team at NSS and the infrastructure is second to none. It will continue to drive growth for clients into the future.
Haenel spent years at family-owned and corporate newspapers alike. The markets he served ranged in size from small to mid to metro. At each, he spearheaded smart-growth solutions to drive cost-savings from efficiencies and generous new revenue from audience-focused solutions. Now he brings that depth of experience in data, technology, and marketing solutions to Newspaper Subscription Services. "Lon is a veteran marketer and makes excellent use of consumer data. We know that the business now requires rigorous technology surrounding audience and data. There is no one better than Lon to lead us along this path," Vega said.
“There’s not one newspaper company- or any other company- on the planet not going through a digital transformation right now,” Haenel said. “I made a career of understanding what customers want. It's always worked out when my teams and I listen and deliver on what customers really want, at a price they're willing to pay, and provide a world-class service experience to set that emotional hook." That's good advice. Has it worked? In 2016, Haenel was awarded the prestigious 'Digital Innovator of the Year Award,' by Local Media Association.
When he’s not working, Haenel likes to ski, golf, and read. On his nightstand now is The Promised Land by Barack Obama. "It's a good read to help understand the long road to becoming elected President."
He’s also spending a lot more time- thanks to the pandemic- with his family. “It's been wonderful. Long hours with the family at home, day in, day out,” he said. “We watched spring become summer, summer roll into fall, and now winter. All from the comfort of our home,” he joked.
“2021 will become a critical year for our newspaper clients” he said. “They will need the tools to contain costs and grow readers, print, and digital subscribers." Newspaper Subscription Services has an exciting roadmap of new product development. "All current and new products are designed with only our clients in mind," he added. "I can't wait to get started," Haenel concluded.
Lon Haenel and NSS can be reached by email at Lon@nsslp.com or by calling (608) 289-4070.