‘We popped champagne corks’: Local media is reaping the rewards of a slow reemergence of advertising spend

Digiday 16 Oct 2020 04:01
October 16, 2020 by Kayleigh Barber

Local media is finally catching a slight break and it’s coming from national and direct-to-consumer advertisers who are aiming directly for regional and local audiences.

There are several reasons why. Regional publications often have cheaper inventory while maintaining a level of connectedness between their newsrooms and their readers that national publications are unable to obtain. Additionally, they offer an opening into communities that are starting to come out of lockdown — or in some cases have been out of lockdown for some time — that allows them to advertise differently than they would in other regions that still have restricted economies.

Gannett’s USA Today Network of local daily publications, as well as digital publishers 6AM City and Whereby.Us, are examples of the locally oriented media companies that have begun reaping the benefits of national advertisers exploring their options in local media.

When the Southeastern part of the country started lifting lockdown regulations in May and June, which was comparatively early to the rest of the country, Michael Kuntz, USA Today Network’s COO of the national division, said that there were several national advertisers who approached his team. They wanted to know what the the best approach was for their brands to market to places like Florida and Georgia where the consumers were able to spend their money in a way that more clearly resemble pre-coronavirus behaviors. 

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USA Today NetworkKuntzHeafyFloridaMichael Kuntz
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