Tronc Opens New Branded Content Agency, Studio 1847


Studio 1847 creates graphics, articles and videos for several national and regional brands.

The ever-evolving media landscape changes the way consumers engage with brands, but tronc’s new in-house marketing division, Studio 1847, is here to bridge the gap. Launched in April, the branded content agency (named after the year tronc’s Chicago Tribune printed its first issue) uses its unique position of being a division of a long-standing newspaper owner to help brands tell their stories through custom content and experiences.

“Because tronc has such a credible, massive following—given our scale nationally, regionally and locally with our paper properties—brands look to us for help,” said Robin Gruen, vice president of branded content. “We’ve been working in local markets for hundreds of years, and we’ve created trust and commitment from our audience.”

The agency’s holistic marketing approach provides every client a custom approach and solution to digital solutions, content and creative, and events.

Robin Gruen

“We help brands connect with consumers in an authentic, meaningful way, where consumers want to be found, met and inspired,” Gruen said. She added that the more the team can learn from clients’ differing businesses and goals, the better they become at creating unique experiences for their customers.

The agency was created due to a demand and interest from advertisers. With more than 70 employees, the team is led by Gruen, Tim Giles, vice president of sales, and Elsa Case, vice president of events. The content team is comprised of former journalists, editors and copy editors that have a handle on the differences between newsroom content and paid content. Some of their clients include TV network FX, Rush University College of Nursing, and Menards. Each of those campaigns contained visually appealing graphics or video. However, the team also creates traditional content, such as articles, infographics and listicles, and helps brands plan special events.

Gruen said that because storytelling is in their DNA, they are able to tell brand stories with an authentic and credible voice.

“That’s rare for a content studio. But because we are publisher-owned, we are held to wonderfully high standards,” she said.

With newsroom budgets dwindling, it isn’t uncommon for newspapers to branch out to other revenue generators now. Moving forward, the studio wants to continue to provide clients with creative content and experiences to enhance their clients own relationship with consumers.

“It’s important for newspapers to evolve as audience evolves,” Gruen said. “We must continue to innovate with the times, and marketing solutions is a fabulous way.”

For more information, visit



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here