Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Lure of Regional Print Gains Focus of Financier

No, this is not another "print is dead" meme-blast, but rather a tip of the hat to people who know where print can still be converted into profits. FOLIO: Magazine picks up on Kim Mac Leod's post-DeSilva & Phillips efforts with Regional Media Advisors, a venture that targets regional magazines for M&A activity. She's had one deal so far this year, but my guess is that she has selected a pretty good niche to mine. Regional magazines have no real direct competitors in the online world: most Web sites doing pure online geographic plays are generally specific to cities or towns. Regional content is hard to do online: it's broad enough that you have to "get" a fairly wide array of cultures to do editorial effectively and hard to find content suitable for many online campaigns. Most online sites covering regions are either function-specific (job postings, classifieds) or sisters of regional print publications, leaving little room for online-only revenues from unique editorial content. Weaker listening patterns on regional radio stations also tamp down alternative channels, though cable TV throws a very powerful regional punch. So for the time being regional magazines have some play. That said, with user-generated content, increasingly sophisticated online techniques for managing personalization, ad campaigns and local marketing, the time for profitable regional online plays that include a broad array of content may be upon us. Long story short: Kim, get a Web site.
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