Deseret News gets national attention in study of newspaper innovation

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 8:30 p.m. MST

He also noted that many businesses that formerly relied heavily on newspaper ads now spend a lot of money on building their own websites and a creating direct digital shopping experience.

“New audiences have responded well to smartphones,” Edmonds said, "but advertisers are not really sure yet what works best on those platforms.”

In an industry where dwindling print revenue continues to dwarf struggling digital contributions, the Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media stand out. After achieving average revenue growth of nearly 40 percent each of the past four years, Deseret Digital Media now produces more than one quarter of the revenue of the entire media business, including print and broadcast.

A big part of that success is the KSL marketplace, a classified section that pre-empted Craigslist locally and now dominates the classified market along the Wasatch front.

Other innovations come from launching digital-only sales channels, creating digital services for small- and medium-sized businesses and creating a travel site through ventures like utah.com and saltlake.com.

“I don’t know of any other efforts to take the metro daily to this level," Edwards said. "It’s pretty audacious, actually. But it’s gratifying to see some lift."

Eric Schulzke writes on national politics for the Deseret News. He can be contacted at eschulzke@desnews.com.

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