We’re used to making jokes about the outside people who come into newsrooms and mess them all up with their complete lack of understanding about what makes a newspaper a newspaper.
But we’re having a hard time laughing at the latest lunatic musings from Tribune Co. Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams:
Then there’s possibly a painful reality that maybe TV stations don’t want to associate with what they may think is a tired declining brand. They’d rather be in bed with Google. I’ll be real honest here — at XM, we were approached by many newspaper brands for news channels, but the thinking was that we’d be better off with a more contemporary brand to associate with. (We DID have a short lived USA Today Channel). Our thinking back then was that newspapers had the content, but generally had a dated image.The solution: Well, that’s why I am SO obsessed with rethinking and redesigning newspapers. Not only to increase circulation and grow again … but to turn around the tired image into a very modern and vibrant one. A VERY healthy and alive local paper can drive the news on SO many platforms. Invincible. A modern newspaper brand on a modern TV station — Huge. That healthy and vibrant paper will drive EVERYthing.
Abrams wants to capitalize on the content of newspapers by turning them into content producers for TV and radio? Well, that certainly is innovative.