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Friday, August 9, 2013

The Future of Fort Thomas Media; Enquirer Lays Off Several Employees

It's been a busy month in Fort Thomas. Lots of events, news (uplifting and tragic), changes and things to look forward to. And we're happy to share these events with FTM veteran readers and new visitors alike.

We are now topping well over 50,000 page views on a monthly basis and with the changes to the media environment our place becomes all the more important.

The decision by Gannett, who owns the Cincinnati Enquirer and The Community Recorder, to lay off employees has directly affected Northern Kentucky and Fort Thomas, specifically. It's always sad when people lose their jobs but these layoffs were predictable. Print media is just not a viable option with the current business model they have in place. There are too many other options for people to get their news as our society has evolved.

Print media has gone the way of the type-writer. It still can be used, but it's just not efficient as better options have become available.

Add the fact that Inside Fort Thomas has gone away and Fort Thomas is left with Fort Thomas Matters and The Fort Thomas Living as the only media options available. We take this responsibility very seriously and will do everything in our power to make sure we are getting news out to our neighbors in a timely manner.

We are finally getting credit for breaking news by bigger outlets. We took the lead on the shooting earlier this week in Fort Thomas and broke the news of the tragedy that occurred. Channel 9 (WCPO) and Fox 19 gave FortThomasMatters on air credit and we can't thank them enough. That's all we want. Our staff works very hard, just as other media members do, and when the "big boys" run with our coverage with zero attribution it's disheartening to say the least.

I am also of the opinion that I DO NOT WANT TO EVER CHARGE OUR READERS TO READ OUR NEWS. EVER. 

So the question now becomes why do we do what we do? Why do we spend countless hours spreading the SHOP FORT THOMAS gospel and doing the best we can to get news into our readers hands?

We all grew up in Fort Thomas. We know the frustration of being looked over in the media. We know the dissatisfaction of not being in the know of what the city is doing or why they are doing it.

I'm trying my best to stay on the cutting edge of how to run FTM to assist the community, produce quality news and continue to keep our team of writers in tact.

So how do we do all of this without selling subscriptions of charging readers to read? Our amazing sponsors have stepped up to the plate in this regard. They see the value in signing their name to the Fort Thomas Matters landscape and we cannot thank them enough.

If you like having a media that truly cares about the city, this is the part where you come in. This part is important:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SPEND YOUR MONEY LOCALLY AT OUR SPONSORS' LOCATIONS! AND TELL THEM YOU ENJOY SEEING THEIR ADVERTISEMENT ON FORTTHOMASMATTERS.COM. 

You, the readers play a vital role.
If our sponsors continue to see value in advertising with FortThomasMatters and you, the readers, continue to patronize them, I promise you as the only remaining media outlet in Fort Thomas that your coverage will continue to get better. An informed community is an engaged community. That's why our city stands out and that's my charge for the near future.

I'm proud of the product that FortThomasMatters puts out. We have come a long way since 2008 and the growth in readership proves that. I can't thank you enough.

Here's to the future!

6 comments:

  1. Great job to everyone of the Fort Thomas Matters crew. Keep up the good work!

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  2. We always shop local and I'm glad you guys have chosen to fly under that banner. The good that you do with these local businesses is truly commendable.

    Thank you! And I know your advertisers are proud. Your city and city officials should be as well. How are you not paid?!? LOL.

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  3. As a regular FTM reader I'm thankful for all the hours put into this site. As a writer who has worked at various publications, I know the time such a site requires. And I love the shop local angle—it seems like a win-win. That said, know that I would be happy to pay to read if that meant the writers and editors of FTM were receiving payment for the work they do. They deserve payment and if the advertisements are providing that, great. If not, well, you're providing a great service. And I think you deserved to to not only be credited for that service, but paid for that service as well—just as we, as a society, pay for the many other services we receive on a daily basis.

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  4. Thanks everyone. Thanks Kara- I know that good content is king and there are many who see the value in that. I cannot shake the scene of two sports blogs back in 2005 that were competing over the same content.

    One went the subscription route, one stayed free and looked for other revenue opportunities.

    The free one became KentuckySportsRadio.com, which became KSTV (CN2), which became KentuckySportsRadio (15 affiliates and counting).

    As an avid Kentucky fan I cannot honestly say I remember the other site, which I used to visit frequently. Perhaps I'm wrong and people are ready to pay for online content and if that's the case, shame on me. I just don't think there are enough souls like yourself who see us as a vital part of their discretionary dollar.

    I wish they did. I love doing this and wish I could take myself and staff full time to serve Fort Thomas, but I don't think we are quite there... Yet.

    Thanks for reading and being an active participant. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed as a longtime reader!

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  5. I agree with Kara. I love the site. You guys do a great job even if you don't hear it enough.

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  6. Agreed. I love the site as well. You and all the writers do a fantastic job.

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