He used to do business at the Olympics. Now, Nick Johnson, head of advertising at McClatchy, is dealing with events like a Five-Day Mushroom Festival. "I couldn't believe it when I got that call," he said, to laughter from the audience.
Johnson was speaking on a panel discussion about revenue diversification at MediaPost's Publishers Insider Summit on Thursday, along with John Conway, General Manager, New Media, Capitol Broadcasting Company; and Eli Lippman, Director, Digital, American Media.
"The reality is, the print business is eroding quickly," he said, "although it is stabilizing. We have to become digital very quickly, and we have to make sure sellers understand it. The nature of our business is local offset by our national digital sales team."
Eighteen months ago, McClatchy reinvented itself, going from 30 publishers to four regional publishers now by evaluating talent consistently and developing one set of priorities.
One central owner, Johnson said, allowed for flexible resources across the organization and exposed gaps in that process. The next three months, the company will be addressing those gaps, dealing with disruption, managing churn and driving accountability to the highest level.