John Paton on paywalls, strategy, Patch, outsourcing and keeping local journalism vibrant

(exact quotes only were indicated by quote marks)
of MediaNews Group Inc.-published audio of
Journal Register Co. CEO John Paton speaking Sept. 7, 2011
to MediaNews Group at the Denver Post

Listen to Journal Register Corp. CEO John Paton address and answer questions from employees of the Denver Post and MediaNews Group on Sept. 7, 2011 in Denver in this 36-minute MP3 podcast.  The original audio was posted as a WMA-formatted file HERE.  And was linked from THIS PAGE.

John Paton

John Paton

The MP3 format can be downloaded and played on Apple devices more readily than WMA.  It can be streamed from this blog post, or downloaded from HERE. The only editing of the MP3 audio  version was to eliminate a minute of whitenoise at the beginning of the session and pauses of more than a couple of seconds. The audio level of some questioners was also boosted.

Paton is introduced by Dean Singleton, executive chairman of Media News Group and a co-founder of the company.  The person first heard introducing Singleton is not identified in the recording.

Read on to go to the partial transcript . . .

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AUDIO (mp3 format): JRC’s John Paton at MediaNews Denver

Listen to Journal Register Corp. CEO John Paton address and answer questions from employees of the Denver Post and MediaNews Group on Sept. 7, 2011 in Denver in this 36-minute MP3 podcast:   CLICK TO DOWNLOAD/PLAY

The original audio was posted as a WMA-formatted file HERE.  The MP3 format can be played on Apple devices more readily than WMA. The only editing of this MP3 version was to eliminate a minute of whitenoise at the beginning of the session and pauses of more than a couple of seconds. The audio level of some questioners was also boosted. If you would like to stream the audio without downloading it, you can reach it from this blog post.

Paton is introduced by Dean Singleton, executive chairman of Media News Group and a co-founder of the company. The person first heard introducing Singleton is not identified in the recording. For a partial transcript of this audio and Paton’s remarks and answers, go to

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AUDIO: A behind-the-scenes look at the ad targetting business

Mark DeChant


BOULDER, Colo. — Mark DeChant began his media career as a reporter, editor and graphic-artist for newspapers in Ohio and Indiana. But then a colleague encouraged him to switch gears and begin working on the business and sales side of newspapers.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN TO AUDIO (mp3 podcast, 25mb, 50 mins.)

Ad targetting methods

Ad targetting effectiveness (DeChant slide)

Some 20 years later, DeChant is now a major-accounts executive for Baynote, Inc., a leading technology company in the fast-growing and chaotically inventive world of advertising personalization and targetting.

In this 50-minute talk, DeChant provides a layperson’s summary of all the techniques used by ad-targetting companies to see to it that your experience surfing and buying on the web is completely different from anyone else’s. That’s because you will see different advertisements, and sometimes even different stories — based upon your previous web behavior, including the sites you’ve visited, the links you’ve clicked on and how long you wait before the next click.

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VIDEO: Daniel Pink “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”

Counter-intuitive research (from Carnegie-Mellon, Univ. of Chicago and MIT, some of it funded by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank) about what motivates people to achieve in a work environment, explained by author Daniel Pink, of Washington, D.C.

White-board animation of Daniel Pink talk

YouTube animation of Pink's talk

The traditional notions of incentive rewards vs. punishment don’t necessarily apply to jobs that require cognitive skills. WATCH THE VIDEO (10  minutes).  More than 6.2 million people had viewed this video on YouTube as of Aug. 14, 2011. It combines an audio record of a talk Pink gave at Great Britain’s Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (now just known as “The RSA”). His talk has been set to a narrative white-board drawing by London’s CognitiveMedia group.

Pink mades five points:

  1. Pay people enough to take money off the table. But  more than that doesn’t motivate.
  2. People want autonomy, mastery challenges and purpose
  3. If you want engagement, more than compliance, offer  the possibility of radical self-direction
  4. Profit disconnected from purpose causes problems
  5. Understanding what motivates can create organizations  that will make our world better.
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GUEST POST: The 12 elements of effective organizations — circa 1985

Bill Densmore (Sr.)

Bill Densmore (Sr.)

EDITOR’S NOTE – Conventional wisdom about effective management is in constant flux – much like fashion.  But if the things that motivate people stay relatively constant across generations, then it’s perfectly logical to keep looking to the past for advice about modern management. In that spirit, here are “Twelve Characteristics of Effective Organizations,” authored, and copyrighted, by William P. Densmore [Sr.] in 1985 as part of his “ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT PROCESS.”  Densmore  is a retired senior manufacturing executive of Norton Co., (now a brand of Saint-Gobain,  the largest global manufacturer and supplier of abrasives.  He  lives in Worcester, Mass.
Click on Page 2 below to go to 12 elements

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A call to action: Making the marketplace for trust, identity and information commerce

As the news and paper come unglued, what will pay for journalism in the new news ecosystem? We need a new digital marketplace for information.


Managing information overload is an opportunity. How can publishers can cultivate customized, one-to-one relationships with users, provide them personalized information, and get paid for doing so?

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Meeting the challenges of privacy, trust identity and information commerce

We’ve been working with the Reynolds Journalism Institute on an idea called the
Information Trust Association, or initiative.  It’s fleshed out in “Paper to Persona.”

Information Trust initiative

Information Trust initiative

Here’s how I typically explain in in a couple of minutes of cocktail conversation:

The idea would be to bring together major publishers, technology and information-services companies to create a shared-user network for privacy, trust, identity and information commerce. It would add some things to the web that the web doesn’t have today, to solve two big problems:

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Four U.S. teachers sought to help with government-sanctioned progressive high-school experiment in China

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Media Giraffe Project conference alum Stephen Wilmarth is seeking to hire four U.S. teachers to spend a minimum of one year in China as part of a government-sanctioned effort to experiment with innovative teaching methods focused on 21st-century, technology-enabled learning.

Steve Wilmarth

He’s looking for teachers with degrees in math, science, engineering, art, history, psychology or economics qualified to teach rigorous Advanced Placement and other academic subjects. The goal, he says, is “create a liberal education model along the lines of a tip U.S. college-preparatory academy.”

The program is within the No. 1 High School Affiliated with Central China Normal University (the nation’s top teacher-education institution) in Wuhan, Hibei Province. You can view either both a FAQ sheet and a posting notice about the opportunities, which include details about pay, living and working conditions for what Wilmarth says “is now becoming one of China’s boldest experiments in education reform.”

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Parsing Apple’s announced policy on in-app, third-party subscriptions

For months, news publishers have been debating whether Apple will allow them to maintain their subscriber account relationships when the publishers start launching .apps. which run on the iPad. Today Apple spoke in what seems to be fairly clear language. While there are still some uncertainties, it appears the basic philosphy Apple.s articulating is this: You can keep your users, but we want to keep ours, too. The bottom line: A half a loaf for Apple, a half a loaf for publishers and a full loaf for consumers. What we are beginning to see is the emergence of a Information Valet economy, where the coming battle is over who owns users. In that environment, what.s now needed is a method for sharing users.


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What happens if you erect a ‘paywall’ on your site?

News organizations are looking for additional revenue streams in addition to advertising to support local news and content services on the web. In an 80-minute session, three New England Newspaper & Press Association members discussed their experience.


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