Home' Local Media Today : May 2008 Contents “What’s with
all the doom
An Official Publication of
Suburban Newspapers of America
Suburban Publisher is published by SNA, the only
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Accounting & Finance Director, Janice Norman
Membership Manager, Valerie Donn
Communications Director, Tonya Ratajczak
Database Marketing Director, Clara Cherry
Who is Rick O’Connor?
Tell us about you.
I am President and Chief Operating
Officer of Black Press responsible for
our 150 publications-websites/press cen-
tres in Washington state and British
Columbia. I am a former SNA President
and am proud to say I hired Nancy
Lane. I am married to Pam and we have
four wonderful children... two are in the
business, and the other two are in
school. I reside in Surrey, British
How did you get into the newspaper
I decided to start a newspaper in a small
B.C. town because I didn’t like the
incumbent publication, which didn’t last
too long after I started. I was 25, work-
ing in radio and didn’t know any better.
That paper, and another I purchased in
1980 are two of the 150 in Black Press
and still doing well.
What do you like most about the busi-
ness? The least?
I really like everything about this busi-
ness, especially as we transform our-
selves into multi-media platforms, but
most of all I feel the work we do really
benefits the people and communities we
serve. As for the least, I don’t like
the negative headlines regarding the cur-
rent state of our industry. We are now a
true multi-media industry, with products
which have never been better, more con-
nection with our readers, and more
opportunities to grow our revenues and
bottom line. What’s with all the doom
and gloom? Doesn’t anyone remember
the early 80’s?
When the well runs dry, how do you
recharge the spark?
We love to go to Hawaii... hey did I
mention we own a daily/suburban paper
What do you know now that you wish
you knew when you started in this
I should have kept my papers, and
bought more. I sold too soon.
The only thing I know for sure about
the business of running newspapers
We never have to worry about becoming
complacent. Change in our business is
constant. However, whether it’s newspa-
pers, free dailies, online, magazines or
specialty publications the key to success
in our business is and will always be,
local, local, local.
Who/what is your major influence?
I’ve had several influences professional-
ly, including some of the early SNA pio-
neers back in the 1980’s, but overall I
would say my family is my greatest
The world would be a vastly better
place if only people would.....
Put the needs of others ahead of their
There’s more from Rick
on SNA’s website - read
the rest of his profile at
t’s not too late to register and attend
the important one day SNA
Interactive Symposium on May 13 in
Las Vegas, NV. The sessions are specifi-
cally designed for SNA members and
the takeaway is immediately actionable.
The SNA day immediately precedes the
broader E&P Interactive Media
Conference beginning on May 14.
The SNA Symposium will cover e-com-
merce revenue solutions, social network-
ing do’s and don’ts, search marketing
insights and an update on the SNA spon-
sored Newspaper Next study of
For those staying on, there are 3 SNA
bonus sessions on May 14 that are tar-
geted to local media companies.
All registrants will receive a mar-
ket specific Borrell Associates
research report valued at $1500.
This customized report will detail every
county in the newspaper’s distribution
area and will show media usage and
online spending by category. Borrell’s
Bill Caudill will show registrants how to
use this valuable data and teach methods
to effectively sell local online offerings.
All meetings will be held at The Rio
Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
Register at www.suburban-news.org or
call SNA hq at 888-486-2466.
FREE MARKET REPORT AWAITS
YOU IN LAS VEGAS
SNA Interactive Symposium May 13 -
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