Home' Local Media Today : October 2015 Contents 2 | LOCAL MEDIA TODAY | October 2015
AN OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
Local Media Today is published in print and
digitally by the Local Media Association. LMA
is a thriving and innovative association that
serves local media companies (newspapers, TV,
radio, directories, pure plays, and more) as well
as several hundred research & development
partners in the industry. LMA assists local media
companies with the digital transition via cutting-
edge programs, conferences, webinars, research
Our credo is Innovate, Educate, Inspire. LMA
provides leadership for its members and support
for their endeavors including their pursuits
of digital innovation and transformation,
journalistic excellence, sales and marketing
expertise, audience development, community-
centric initiatives and leadership values through
the ongoing development and dissemination of
powerful, innovative and valuable resources.
116 Cass Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
LMA OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
Chairman of the Board / SNI Vice Chairman
/ LMF Treasurer
Gordon Borrell | Borrell Associates
First Vice Chairwoman/SNI Treasurer
Suzanne Schlicht | The World Company
Second Vice Chairman
Matt Coen | Second Street, Inc.
Mark Poss | Big Fish Works
Robert Brown | Swift Communications
Immediate Past LMA Chairman/
Current SNI Chairman
Clifford Richner | Richner Communication, Inc.
Myra Cortado | Calkins Media
Chris Edwards | The Gazette Company
Christian Hendricks | The McClatchy Company
Eric Johnston | Pioneer News Group
Kevin Kampman | Winston-Salem Journal
Terry Kukle | Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Chris Lee | Deseret Digital Media
Peter Newton | Gatehouse Media
Kerry Oslund | Schurz Communications
Steven Pope | AZ Local Media
J. Tom Shaw | Shaw Media
843-390-1531 | email@example.com
Vice President of Operations
215-256-6801 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales & Marketing Director
804-360-9434 | email@example.com
Classified Avenue Director of Sales
888-486-2466 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales & Marketing Manager
Lindsey Leisher Estes
410-838-3018 | email@example.com
Training & Development Director
901.361.3642 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Technology Manager
888.486.2466 | email@example.com
Local Media Today Editor
888-486-2466 | firstname.lastname@example.org
888-486-2466 | e-mail to email@example.com
Accounting & Finance Director
Local Media Today is printed courtesy of
Sound Publishing, Inc., the largest com-
munity news organization in the state of
The digital edition of Local Media Today is
published courtesy of Realview, a leading
provider of stunning online and mobile
publishing solutions. More about them at
OTT and Video at
Q I want to dig into your OTT video work but before we get
into that, can you please provide a thumbnail of your career
pathway? And about Calkins Media and their properties?
A Calkins is my first job in local media. I’ve been in media and
media technology my entire career mostly with national
brands but I find local media way more interesting.
I started at Macworld Magazine and Ziff-Davis in the late ‘80s as
technology as we know it today just started. My first job in newspa-
pers was at The New York Times in the mid-90s where I had a num-
ber of different opportunities starting in advertising then moving to
strategy and planning. I spent the last three years at The Times as the
product manager of The New York Times Electronic Edition which
was its first paid digital subscription product. That experience was
my pivot from newspapers to media technology.
I left The Times in 2005 and went to work at what was then
called NewsStand and is now known as LibreDigital, an Austin-
based media technology company. Our team built the infrastruc-
ture to convert newspaper content, package and distribute it to
Nook, and Sony e-readers in a 2-hour window. It seems crazy to
think how hard that was seven years ago. Now everything is feed
driven but back then we had to create feeds from PDFs.
My first exposure to local media was in 2010 when Scripps’s
Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper hired me as a consultant
to build what would become the first local media paid content pro-
gram. If the LibreDigital process seemed hard, this was 10x harder.
We developed the all-access subscription model (pay for print and
get digital in the package).
I joined Calkins Media in spring of 2012 after speaking with
Mark Contreras who had been the executive sponsor of the
Scripps project. Mark had just become the CEO and reached out
to me about the opportunity. We had a great discussion about
the challenges in the industry and what it might take to succeed.
I expressed my concern about working for a publically traded
or venture-backed company because it would take a long term
commitment to solving the problem and would not be solved in
a quarter or two. He explained that Calkins was a family-owned
media company with a deep commitment to the communities they
served. That’s all he needed to say.
Calkins Media owns six daily newspapers in PA and NJ and
three television stations in Sarasota and Tallahassee, FL and
Q Basics first – what specifically is the OTT medium? How
does it differ from videos on your website and broadcast television? Can
you also comment on the platforms that deliver this content?
A OTT or over-the-top is video delivered over the internet rather
than airwaves or cable. If you have an Apple TV or Roku or game
console like Xbox or Playstation then you have OTT. Rule of thumb, if you
can get Netflix on it it’s OTT. It differs from website video in that it can play
in full HD on your living room television.
Q Last year LMA welcomed Calkins Philadelphia Regional Pub-
lisher Mike Jameson as a speaker at our Innovation Conference.
He talked about some successful video initiatives that were being
produced locally – i.e., Blake’s Takes where the reporter’s dog makes
football picks– and the resultant new revenue stream. Now you’re
pushing well beyond website-based video endeavors and your OTT
medium is gaining significant traction. What’s driving your aggressive
push into this arena?
A We started planning for OTT two years ago with the goal of
creating micro television stations in our newspaper markets.
Quick explanation on where we are. Our three Philly-based papers are 30
miles north of Philadelphia in Bucks County, PA and Burlington County,
NJ. We get the Philadelphia TV news. In Western PA we are located about
the same distance north and south of Pittsburgh. They get the Pittsburgh
TV news. With the exception of the local pro sports coverage there is very
little metro news that is relevant to our suburban newspaper readers. We
started creating video to address what we thought would be a need for
local video news. When we started running our first OTT test we looked at
it on our CEO’s 70” TV screen and realize we could compete with the
quality of TV. It was no longer web video.
We are also following the audience. In 2015, 56% of internet connect-
ed homes watch videos via OTT devices. That’s up from 23% in 2012. This
past spring cable giants ESPN, HBO and Showtime started selling direct
to consumers, accelerating cord cutting and OTT growth. That’s when we
got really aggressive.
Q Your OTT content is not only hyper-local but it has a welcoming
feel to it, a real up close & personal experience. Plainly said – it’s
very appealing. Can you tell us about the strategy for producing and
delivering this content?
A Our newspapers do a great job producing the videos. There’s a
real personality and quality to them. When we started down the
path of creating video we tried very hard not to replicate TV and tried to
play up the community aspect.
Q You’ve said previously that you believe even the most diminished
newspapers have more reporting resources than most TV stations
and that these can/should be parlayed into delivering OTT content. How
CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
Guy T. Tasaka
Chief Digital Officer/ Vice President
Calkins Media, Incorporated
OTT seems to make us very relevant to
the younger audiences in ways our website
doesn’t any more.
Getting up close
with LMA’s 2015
Innovator of the
Year Guy Tasaka
Links Archive September 2015 November 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page