17 episodes

Practical advice about how to build a stronger, more sustainable news business

News Guest LION Publishers

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Practical advice about how to build a stronger, more sustainable news business

    Measure and market your impact ft. Angie Cirone and Anjanette Delgado

    Measure and market your impact ft. Angie Cirone and Anjanette Delgado

    News organizations sometimes get so busy doing the work that they forget to track their impact or tell their story to stakeholders, including the people most likely to support them financially. In this episode of News Guest, you’ll learn why and how you can make time for this important work with insights and advice from:


    Angie Cirone, former director of journalism sustainability at Richland Source, a LION member in northern Ohio
    Anjanette Delgado, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and contributor to the Media Impact Project at the University of Southern California

    Related Resources:


    Resolve Philly's customizable impact tracker
    7 tips for tracking your impact by Anjanette Delgado
    How Richland Source raised $250K in community support by Jay Allred
    7 campaign ideas to help you ask readers for support in new ways

    • 27 min
    How to be a better manager ft. Wendi C. Thomas and Samantha Ragland

    How to be a better manager ft. Wendi C. Thomas and Samantha Ragland

    A formal education may prepare us well for a lot of things, but being a manager often isn’t one of them. In this News Guest episode, you’ll hear from two people who have been on both sides of newsroom management about how independent news publishers can be better managers.


    Samantha Ragland is vice president of journalism programs at the American Press Institute and has coached newsroom leaders across the country.
    Wendi C. Thomas is the founder and publisher of MLK50, a LION member newsroom in Memphis that focuses on the intersection of poverty, power and policy.

    Related reading:


    How three women journalist leaders channelled legacy newsroom experiences into creating healthier nonprofit organizations by Vignesh Ramachandran
    To become managers, journalists must let go of independent mindset by Annie Russell 
    When student loans and the housing crisis force journalists out of the business by Wendi C. Thomas

    Related resources:


    The Independent News Sustainability Summit in Austin this October will feature sessions on managing a team, recruiting and retaining employees, and building a support network as a leader.
    The News Entrepreneur Academy includes video courses courses on HR Best Practices with experienced HR consultant Deb Lewis, Management Best Practices with executive coach and marketing consultant Natalie Archibald, and Addressing and Avoiding Burnout with executive coach and former New York Times reporter Sushil Cheema.
    The LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program offers personalized business advice and up to $6,000 of funding to help independent publishers build more sustainable businesses. The deadline to apply for the next round of audits is Oct. 10.
    Sign up for the LION newsletter for more insights, tips and resources to help independent news publishers plan for revenue growth.

    • 27 min
    Planning for revenue growth ft. Tom Lappas and Simon Owens

    Planning for revenue growth ft. Tom Lappas and Simon Owens

    There are more revenue options than ever available to local independent publishers, from selling ads to launching a membership program to holding events to publishing sponsored content. Of course, having more options also means having to make more decisions — and creating more opportunities for a revenue stream to fail. In this episode, our host Candice Fortman talks with LION member Tom Lappas and news business expert Simon Owens about how publishers can determine the right revenue sources for their business and avoid learning the hard way that a monetization strategy wasn’t a good fit.

    Tom Lappas is founder and publisher of the Henrico Citizen in central Virginia, and Simon Owens is a longtime journalist, marketer, and PR professional who hosts The Business of Content podcast and publishes Simon Owens’s Tech and Media Newsletter on Substack.

    Related resources:


    The Independent News Sustainability Summit in Austin this October will feature sessions on planning for growth, assessing revenue opportunities, launching advertising and sponsorships, growing advertising and sponsorships, optimizing your audience funnel and other revenue topics.
    The News Entrepreneur Academy includes a lesson on Launching a New Revenue Stream, and later this month we plan to add a new Evaluating Growth Opportunities course that will provide frameworks for identifying different revenue opportunities and deciding whether an idea is worth pursuing.
    The LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program offers personalized business advice and up to $6,000 of funding to help independent publishers build more sustainable businesses. The deadline to apply for the next round of audits is Oct. 10.
    Sign up for the LION newsletter for more insights, tips and resources to help independent news publishers plan for revenue growth. 

    News Guest is a production of LION Publishers, the only professional association solely focused on helping publishers build and grow more sustainable independent news business in the U.S. and Canada. This episode is hosted produced and edited by Jenna Spinelle, with editorial support from Ben DeJarnette. 

    • 27 min
    Know (and grow) your audience ft. Anita Li and Rebekah Monson

    Know (and grow) your audience ft. Anita Li and Rebekah Monson

    One of the hardest parts of running an independent news business is building an audience from scratch, especially if you’re trying to do it on a shoestring budget. In this episode of News Guest, host Candice Fortman of Outlier Media is joined by two guests who have worked deep in the weeds of audience strategy to talk about how researching and understanding the communities you want to serve can help you grow your audience – faster.

    Related Resources:


    Check out LION's News Entrepreneur Academy for a members-only course on audience research and product design led by Rebekah Monson. 
    Apply for the LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program for the opportunity to receive a personalized roadmap and up to $6,000 of funding to help build a stronger, more sustainable business.

    • 29 min
    Trailer: News Guest Season 2

    Trailer: News Guest Season 2

    It's almost time for Season 2 of News Guest! Candice Fortman from Outlier Media is back to host a series of conversations about some of the most important topics for local news publishers and people who follow the industry. We'll be talking about audience development, revenue, demonstrating impact, preventing burnout and so much more. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and look out for a new episode on the first Tuesday of every month. 

    • 1 min
    Part II: What news founders wish they’d known about launching a media business

    Part II: What news founders wish they’d known about launching a media business

    In Part I of this conversation, we talked with Santa Cruz Local founder Kara Meyberg Guzman about finding a sustainable workload and with Gettysburg Connection founder Chuck Stangor about building and managing a tech stack.

    In this month’s episode, we hear from three more independent news publishers about their advice for first-time founders:


    Don’t wait to file your IRS paperwork. If you plan to operate your business as a nonprofit, Shasta Scout founder Annelise Pierce warns that it can take a long time to get official 501(c)3 status – and you might need to find a fiscal sponsor in the meantime.
    Start thinking about revenue early. RevLab director Emily Dresslar says founders should build a revenue strategy right out of the gate and even consider trying to get sponsors or advertisers on board before launch.
    Embrace learning on the job. To close out the episode (and Season 1 of News Guest!), we turned the tables on our host Candice Fortman and asked what she’s learned since becoming executive director of Outlier Media three years ago. Her biggest lesson: There’s no way to prepare for leading a news organization for the first time. You just have to learn on the job.

    Related reading:


    Nonprofit or For-Profit — Which Model is Right for your Newsroom? by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
    5 Tips for Choosing a Fiscal Sponsor for your Newsroom by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
    Village Media, Relying on Local Advertising, Seems to Have Found a Scalable (and Profitable) Local News Model by Christine Schmidt

    This episode of News Guest is sponsored by Stacker, the newswire that independent publishers trust for data-driven stories, graphics, and analysis – all at no cost. Request a demo»

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

FriendofSI051962 ,

Valuable insight!

This show helps provides valuable insight into the world of small/medium local publishers who are trying extremely hard to build sustainable journalism businesses.

Ben DeJarnette ,

Rave for News Guest

Yes I play a small role in producing this podcast, but I can objectively say that Candice Fortman is an AMAZING host, and the guests have so much insight and intel to share about the hard work of launching and growing a digital news business.

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