Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Concentrate on Loyal Readers: That's the Advice of Minneapolis Star Tribune's Editor, Who Believes Pursuing Potential Readers Can Alienate Loyal Ones

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Concentrate on Loyal Readers: That's the Advice of Minneapolis Star Tribune's Editor, Who Believes Pursuing Potential Readers Can Alienate Loyal Ones

Article excerpt

That's the advice of Minneapolis Star Tribune's editor, who believes pursuing potential readers can alienate loyal ones

NEWSPAPERS RISK LOSING their most loyal readers if they rush recklessly after potential readers, warns Tim McGuire, editor and general manager of the reader customer unit at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"We have to understand our best customers are those who value information the most. We can't be pandering to the edge of the market, those so-called potential readers or at-risk readers," McGuire said.

"We definitely need to be inclusive, but we must not threaten the needs of dedicated readers who want information, who value it, and who are willing to pay for it," McGuire told the organization of news Ombudsmen annual conference in Minneapolis.

McGuire's comments came in the wake of the release of a major industry study of how newspapers can attract that 13% of the adult population that has ll the attractive characteristics of a newspaper reader -- with the exception of the reading habit.

The study by Minneapolis-based MORI Research was sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America and the American Society of Newspaper Editors and was released at NAA's recent annual convention.

To attract these potential readers, MORI president Kristin McGarth said, newspapers must "get rid of some sacred cows," including a "preoccuption with breaking news" and their "biased" view of their watchdog role.

McGuire said there was much of value in the study. …

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