Media in Transformation: ABC Conference Speaker Summary

Paul Godfrey, president and CEO at Postmedia Network, gave delegates at the annual Audit Bureau of Circulations conference in Toronto some first-hand insight into the ongoing evolution of the media company. Godfrey described Postmedia’s “digital first” business model as the path to success in a new phase of the newspaper industry. Godfrey offered a number of insights and suggestions for the publishers in the audience. 

Newspapers must be adaptive

In order to succeed in a changing digital world newspaper companies must be in a constant state of flux, willing to evolve in accordance with changing technologies and cultural values.

Newspapers as the curators of content

Newspapers are still the kings of content: Newspapers are an established brand associated with tradition and accuracy. They will continue to be looked upon as a valuable and reliable source of knowledge. In the rise of citizen journalism, editors will become the curators of content, separating fact from fiction and quality content from mass of verbiage.

There are no more deadlines

In the world of mobile apps and social networking, prime time is all the time. Newspapers must adapt their outlook, producing timely stories for their print edition while participating in a 24-hour news cycle for online and mobile devices.

Stick to what you do best

Godfrey described the current efforts to streamline operations at Postmedia papers for ABC delegates. For the future he envisions two large divisions – Content and Sales and Marketing. The rest of the production will be outsourced, according to Godfrey. Newspapers, he argues, should move away from the legacy systems and focus on implementing procedures that will make the production model cheaper and more efficient.

Godfrey ended his presentation on a positive, yet cautionary note.  He urged publishers to build on their foundation but to also embrace new technologies and distribution methods. The world is changing, he warned, and newspapers must change with it.