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What are some of the top priorities that you
believe LMA members should be focusing on
in the immediate future to strengthen their market
positions and business models?
I’ll just list bullet form, because I could really
get going on this topic and fill several pages:
• Invest in print, and stop making “the web” the
excuse for what is really lousy print execution
• More local. Real local. Cut state, national, movies,
whatever you need to in order to fund more local.
• Agency services: local businesses need help with
all of these options coming at them. We have the
in-house talent and trusted relationships to help
them with it... even if it doesn’t result in an ad in
our own pub.
• Stop chasing every shiny new toy. Compare the
cost of the new toy and its chase to the cost of
investing same time and money in more reporters,
more sales reps.
• Look suspiciously at “experts” who aren’t regularly
in your market ... in the stores, in the banks, in the
restaurants, in the bars. Get out of the office and
observe. Sit back and look at who you are compet-
ing for, what you are competing against, and what
their reality is.
Any tips on how media companies can take
better advantage of LMA membership?
Visit the website www.localmedia.org at least
once per week. There are so many discussions,
webinars, resources, conferences, connections.
Engage ... I guarantee you it’s worth it.
What do you make of the seismic change in
our industry over the last decade and what
lessons have you learned that help you plan for
Arrogance has been a killer to the newspaper
industry and when I still occasionally see it ...
typically from a large metropolitan daily ... it makes
me laugh out loud. We have been rocked by a right-
left combo of tech advances and economic crisis,
and it should cause us to question all of our sacred
cows. I mean that both in terms of how and what
we report and how we think about our relationships
To those who know you from LMA gatherings,
it’s evident that your intellect and passion for
the industry are exceedingly high. Please share
some of the things you’re thinking about as you
strategize for your company’s future.
That’s kind, but I wouldn’t say we are noodling
anything ground-breaking. I’m increasingly con-
fident about this agency services opportunity so I’m
focused on how a small company can invest resources
into growing it. I’m also thinking a lot about how a
weekly in a small town serves its readers and adver-
tisers well in print and online. Not everyone needs
or wants “news” about their town every day, at least
not in the traditional sense. I think we’ve kind of lost
sight of that in some ways, thinking that we should
be pumping out fresh content about a 3,000-house-
hold town three times per day, just because we can.
Maybe we should do less than that, but do it better.
Welcome to your year of leadership of the Local Media Association
Board of Directors.You’ve just finished your first month as Chairman
and, although you are an ardent supporter of LMA and have attended
most of its conferences over the past several years, many members do
not know you. Can you give us a thumbnail of your background and
how you came to be in the local media business?
I’ve been in the business for 24 years now, starting as a reporter two
months after graduating from college. My career progressed to editor
of a weekly, to editor-in-chief of a group of weeklies and small dailies, to
Advertising Director and Publisher. I’ve worked my entire career in local
media and all in Massachusetts.
Please give us some insight into what you would like to see accom-
plished within LMA during your year of board leadership.
We are facing some exhilarating challenges both as an industry
and in turn as an association. Our board has a really incredible
diversity of experiences and perspectives which I think is perfect to tackle
weighty questions over membership requirements and how we best
serve those members. The traditional forms of revenue for the associa-
tion itself are also greatly challenged and I am proud of our continuing
work to find new revenue streams and keep membership dues low.
What is your assessment of the state of the local newspaper
I feel a rebound gathering steam. I think there’s an increasingly
healthy mix of digital innovation and overdue respect for the
advantages of print. We are going to have both for a long, long time when
executed well. Collectively we need to do a better job of telling our own
story to marketers and young readers and stop letting our competitors
position us as dead.
aN oFFiCial publiCatioN oF
Local Media Today is published in print
and digitally by the Local Media Association,
the only non-profit trade association in
North America that specifically represents
the needs and interests of local newspaper
and media companies, their multi-media
publishing entities and other community based
With a tagline of Innovate. Educate. Inspire
LMA provides leadership for its members and
support for their endeavors including their
pursuits of journalistic excellence, sales and
marketing expertise, audience development,
community-centric initiatives and leadership
values through the ongoing development and
dissemination of powerful, innovative and
116 Cass Street
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lma oFFiCers & DireCtors
Chairman of the Board / SNI Vice-Chairman /
Gareth Charter | Holden Landmark Corporation
First Vice Chair / SNI Treasurer
Gloria Fletcher | Sound Publishing, Inc.
Second Vice Chairman
Clifford Richner | Richner Communication, Inc.
Gordon Borrell | Borrell Associates
Suzanne Schlicht | The World Company
Immediate Past LMA Chairman/
Current SNI Chairman
Jon K. Rust | Rust Communications
Roy Biondi | This Week Community Newspapers
Henry Bird | Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Robert Brown | Swift Communications
Matt Coen | Second Street, Inc.
Brandon Erlacher | The Elkhart Truth
Terry Kukle | Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Chris Lee | Deseret Digital Media
Jennifer Parker | CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
Mark Poss | Red Wing Publishing
Kim Wilson | The South Bend Tribune
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Q & A with...
Hello New Chairman
Gareth Charter, Publisher of Holden Landmark Corporation in Worcester, Mass., took
the reins of the Local Media Association Board of Directors at its annual meeting held
during the Fall Conference in September. Charter and his crew publish The Landmark, an
8,500 circulation weekly, and several niche publications. Using existing resources, they
also recently launched Kelly Square Communications, a digital services company geared
to local SMB’s.
With one month of leadership under his belt now, Editor Deb Shaw caught up with
Gareth to get to know LMA’s new Board leader and to understand his vision for the
organization, his company and the industry at large.
Reach out to him anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 749-3166.
Charter, page 16
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