Coats2Coats blog for a media future that is participatory, sustainable and social
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
If you asked me to name a favorite place, a newsroom – any newsroom – would be at the top of the list. I love the pace, the smart conversation, the drive to know things and then tell others about what you learn.
My passion is working to help journalists recognize that we live in a golden age for storytelling – if we’re willing to be open to new approaches.
That’s why I love working with clients. Now here’s the obligatory resume:
· Reporter, in the days when public records came on paper.
· Mid-level editor, running city desks, sports, features.
· Executive editor, leading two pioneering multimedia newsroom (The Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Tampa Tribune).
· Dean of the Faculty, The Poynter Institute, a brief stint in the academic world before the quiet drove me slowly mad…
· Consultant, The Patterson Foundation, where I got to spend money to help digital startups.
One of the things I’ve learned as a fiction writer is that everyone wants to be the hero in the story. That’s my job as a consultant to media organizations: To help them find their own hero’s path in building sustainability.
I started out as a reporter and columnist. I know the difference journalism can make in a community’s life. Finding ways to help organizations pay for the journalism is more than a job for me – it’s a calling.
Knowing where you come from helps point to where you’re going. Here’s where I come from:
· Prize-winning reporter and columnist
· Digital media pioneer, moving into interactive media in 1993.
· Executive Director of the Local Media Consortium, which includes more than 70 media companies driving more than 4 billion pageviews and 15 billion ad impressions/month.
· Driving audience and revenue for media companies like McClatchy, Media General and E.W. Scripps.
· Author of two published novels, “Out of Touch” and “Avalon.”
Chief Content Officer
I’m a born storyteller. Making media my career was a natural choice – starting with broadcasting, then following my passion for technology into digital and social channels as they emerged.
These days, I help other make engaging, authentic, enduring stories. Because the best story wins.
Here’s my story, and what I’ve learned along the way:
· Commercial radio: The importance of attracting – and keeping – an audience. And the value of an audience in dollars and cents.
· Public radio (and TV): The finer points of production and team building, and how to build big ideas into bigger influence.
· Digital media: You never stop learning: The minute you think you know what’s up, it’s not anymore.
· Teaching: Challenges me – every day – to find new ways to share my knowledge to an audience that demands engagement.
· Consulting: Leverages my skills to address an ever-changing array of questions, problems and puzzles – and allows me to work with the best innovators in the business.
Revenue, Marketing and Engagement
I love making things, from renovating old houses to creating art through dress making. I’ve also made a content business from scratch when I built Magic City Post, a hyperlocal news publication and shopping platform in Birmingham, Ala.
In my creative life, I like seeing all the pieces come together. When I work with clients, I look at the whole picture, to understand how content, revenue, marketing and engagement support each other. When I understand that, then I can coach clients to find their own creative ways to achieve their goals.
Here are some of the other things I’ve helped build:
· Leveraging content opportunities for the Local Media Consortium as LMC Content Champion.
· Coaching independent news entrepreneurs as a mentor in programs sponsored by the Institute for Non-profit News and City University of New York.
· Directing online operations for the Buffalo News.
· Leading team for GateHouse Media that grew digital revenue more than $60 million in their first two years.