So You're An Agency Now

Talent, talent and more talent. That was the gist of the keynote speech this morning by Eric Myers, President of Dallas-based Belo Media Group. "I want the client to say, 'This is not what I expected to see' in terms of intelligence."

The brand's M&A team is always asking whether it should buy into a space, partner with someone or build something from the ground up. Belo got out of smaller newspapers, Myers said, and reinvested the money. One of its brands, the Dallas Morning News, is the oldest business in Texas, no small matter of pride. Yet, a third of Belo's potential clients don't want to be talking to such an old company while another third does.

Belo is trying to organize its digital assets: Distribion, MarketingFx, and Verticalnerve. Every day, Myers said, he and his team experience "an appropriate sense of panic in the sense of a hustle."

"We are bullish on getting way into strategy, creative and getting the cash flow." In April, the company bought Cubic Creative, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which it operates as a standalone brand. It focuses on travel/tourism and urban economic development. "It helps us on the ad sales side." 

In the owned and operated space, Belo enjoys "great page views, great content that is relevant to the local marketplace," he said. "We cannot live on indirect. We try to tie our O&O into media events using the journalistic practice of having an editorial calendar. Clients find it important to be connected to our brand in that way."

The company creates events for any client that cares about the organization or any reader willing to pay, he said. Members do a lot of networking in a city like Dallas. Belo will be "doubling down on networking in the next year."

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