Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wowing Younger Readers the Pair Behind the PowWow Have a Plan to Turn Millennial into Newspaper Lovers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wowing Younger Readers the Pair Behind the PowWow Have a Plan to Turn Millennial into Newspaper Lovers

Article excerpt

Taylor Cleary and Alison Datko are going to save print newspapers.

That's what they 11 tell you, with such an earnest zeal that you wonder if they've been living on some distant ink-stained planet for the last 20 years, where staff cuts and plunging revenues never existed.

Yet the ambitious young Orlando entrepreneurs--Cleary is 24, Datko is 25--insist they have a solution. They've launched their own syndicate, PowWow Press, which has two aims: to market up to 15 specialized columns geared toward millennials, and to produce The PowWow, a four-page weekly broadsheet insert they plan on shopping to newspapers, initially targeting publications in areas with large percentages of 18-35 year-olds.

"Young people have no reason to pick up a print product now and be excited by it," Cleary said. "We're bombarded online by clickbait and have developed a distaste for polarizing content. If we were to put together a group of writers that could provide relevant, strong-voiced content, we think younger readers would take notice."

The pair's idea was honed during their day jobs editing content at King Features Syndicate, where they fine-tune popular columns like Dear Abby.

"We know those columns engage traditional readers, but we think they miss the mark with young people," Cleary said. "So we started chatting about what would engage young people."

Some of their planned column topics include music, film, celebrities and politics. The centerpiece is a "reverse advice" feature, where readers supply answers to socially relevant talking points of the day.

"This is what will make young people pick it up," said Cleary. …

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