Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Rebranding with a 'BANG': Bay Area News Group Restructures to Better Serve Its Readers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Rebranding with a 'BANG': Bay Area News Group Restructures to Better Serve Its Readers

Article excerpt

To better serve its readers, the Bay Area News Group has restructured its newspaper portfolio, folding six newspapers into just two publications (the East Bay Times and The Mercury News) and adding three additional community weeklies (The Argus, The Daily Review and the Oakland Tribune)--rounding out its current weekly count to 30.

According to Sharon Ryan, BANG president and publisher, this strategy will reduce production costs and allow the media group to allocate more resources toward creating original content.

While Ryan said making these changes was difficult, they were in line with what the readers wanted. The changes, which took effect in April, were a response to a reader's survey the company sent out last fall. Ryan said they found that BANG readers most valued original, community content. Subscribers now receive one of the 30 weekly community papers as an insert with their regional paper.

"It's easy to sit on the sidelines and tell people what they're doing wrong, but (there are) a lot of smart, dedicated people that are in this to figure out (how) to create a sustainable business model to continue to fulfill our mission and serve the communities that we are a part of," Ryan said.

The data BANG collects (reader's comments, website traffic and more) will allow the group to make more informed decisions about what products they're going to put into the market, what stories they'll tell, how they'll package those stories, and whether to deliver them in print, digital or on social media, said Ryan. …

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