Newspaper Next, which is backed by more than $2 million from the American Press Institute, solicited proposals in February after a two-day meeting of nearly 100 newspaper executives in Washington. The project will produce a report late this year, which will include lessons learned from the six ideas that have been selected for aid, and begin testing some conclusions at a daily newspaper by early 2007.
“It’s a great group of projects,” said Stephen Gray, managing director, Newspaper Next. “They range in focus from audiences to advertisers to building organizational capabilities. These will provide living laboratories to demonstrate the innovation potential that exists among newspaper companies.”
The selected newspapers, newspaper companies and concepts include Gannett Co., which will pick one of its midsize papers to develop an organization structure conducive to innovation -- a structure adaptable to smaller and larger papers.
Other projects chosen include one from The Boston Globe, part of The New York Times Co., which wants to create new mechanisms and models to deliver profitable leads and sales to businesses too small for traditional big-paper solutions.
The Dallas Morning News, part of Belo Corp., wants to develop a one-stop resource for busy mothers to find trusted recommendations to help in parenting.
The Record in Hackensack, N.J., and the North Jersey Media Group, will rethink its online efforts “from scratch” to deliver more information and community-engagement offerings for a wider range of users, including people with little interest in news itself.
The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., part of Advance Publications, is working with a newsroom team on strategies to increase readership in a fast-growing suburb.
Media General in Richmond, Va., plans to experiment with research techniques to gain new, unique insights into problems that Richmond businesses can’t solve with today’s advertising programs.
The selected papers and newspaper companies, chosen from among 18 applicants, will receive advice and consultation from the Newspaper Next team, including participating from Innosight, the consulting firm working with the project.