21 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

    The future of local watchdog journalism ft. Dean Baquet and Evan Smith

    The future of local watchdog journalism ft. Dean Baquet and Evan Smith

    We're excited to bring you another special News Guest episode this month featuring former New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet and The Texas Tribune co-founder Evan Smith, who spoke at last year's Independent News Sustainability Summit about the future of local watchdog journalism — and how national newsrooms like the Times can support it.

    P.S. Our next in-person event is only a few months away! The Southeast News Sustainability Meetup in Durham, North Carolina this October will bring together publishers from across the Southeast United States, and it will also host the 2023 LION Local Journalism Awards Ceremony. 

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Reimagine newsroom culture and build more sustainable workplaces ft. Angilee Shah and Sisi Wei

    Reimagine newsroom culture and build more sustainable workplaces ft. Angilee Shah and Sisi Wei

    We're excited to bring you a special News Guest episode this month featuring Charlottesville Tomorrow CEO and editor-in-chief Angilee Shah and The Markup editor-in-chief Sisi Wei, who spoke at last year's Independent News Sustainability Summit about how to reimagine newsroom culture and build more sustainable workplaces.

    P.S. Our next in-person event is only a few months away! The Southeast News Sustainability Meetup in Durham, North Carolina this October will bring together publishers from across the Southeast United States, and it will also host the 2023 LION Local Journalism Awards Ceremony. 

    • 53 min
    Make time for revenue work in 2023 ft. Kyle Constable and Lizzy Hazeltine

    Make time for revenue work in 2023 ft. Kyle Constable and Lizzy Hazeltine

    With stories to edit, websites to update, and social media accounts to maintain, it’s easy for revenue work to fall by the wayside, unless it’s part of your daily routine. Our guests in this episode have ideas on how to keep you focused on getting dollars in the door in 2023 and beyond:


    Kyle Constable is the director of membership and digital innovation at The Connecticut Mirror.
    Lizzy Hazeltine is a business growth consultant who has worked with LION members across North America.

    Related resources (for LION members):

    🎓 Take a course in the News Entrepreneur Academy on how to create a revenue growth plan and how to assess growth opportunities. 

    • 28 min
    Prevent burnout as a news business leader ft. Ryan Belmore and Naseem S. Miller

    Prevent burnout as a news business leader ft. Ryan Belmore and Naseem S. Miller

    When you’re a leader at an independent news organization, it’s easy to feel like you need to wear all the hats – or that you can’t take a day off because your audience and advertisers depend on you. 

    In this episode, you’ll hear advice about how to identify burnout in yourself and your team — and what to do about it – from two experienced news leaders:


    Ryan Belmore is the owner and publisher of What’sUpNewp, a LION member publication in Newport, Connecticut.
    Naseem S. Miller is a reporter at The Journalist’s Resource, where she writes about health and medicine.

    Other resources:

    ⚒️ Lead a “work redesign” in your newsroom. This American Press Institute guide shares advice for how to prevent burnout among newsroom managers.

    🏖️ Figure out how to take a real break. When LION members turn the lights off for a month or longer to catch their breath, they almost never regret it. Last year, we talked with Gabe Schneider and Janelle Salanga about their decision to stop publishing new content for the summer as they prepared for a new phase of growth.

    ❌ Decide what you’re going to stop doing. You can learn more about the “stop-doing list” and other strategies for preventing burnout by reading this slide deck from the Independent News Sustainability Summit, as well as this thread on Twitter.

    🎓 Take a course on addressing and avoiding burnout (for LION members only). This self-guided News Entrepreneur Academy course is led by Sushil Cheema, a journalist turned executive coach specializing in burnout and self-care, professional development, interpersonal relationships and communication.

    News Guest is hosted by Candice Fortman and produced and edited by Jenna Spinelle, with editorial support from Ben DeJarnette. 

    • 29 min
    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

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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