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Dear Readers -
I don't want to bury the lede. To sign up for the most up-to-date changes as it relates to the most significant investment in Northern Kentucky in local media over the last two decades, please visit LINKnky.com.
First, please know that Fort Thomas Matters isn't going away. Living Magazines won't either.
This is bittersweet for me. I love this business, city, county and region. But taking the step to help grow the footprint of what we've started together at Fort Thomas Matters to help unify and LINK our region is needed. And I'm very excited about what that means for our region.
LINK Media will quite literally set out to help link all of us together. People in our communities are craving a voice that will help them understand what’s happening in the Northern Kentucky. LINK intends to be that voice. We want to galvanize engagement because we know our region can only grow stronger if we are unified.
Independent media companies like FTM and RCN have fought and scrapped to be authentic and trusted voices in our region, but with limited resources it's been a chore to connect the region together. Northern Kentucky is unique in that it's separated by so many different cities, school districts and taxing districts. This is unique, but does not help us as it relates to funding and project needs.
LINK hopes to help change that.
The first post on Fort Thomas Matters was back in November of 2007 and what a ride it has been. The tone, professionalism and importance to the city and county has grown as we've learned how to navigate the difficult slog of local news, the rise of social media and the constant grind of making it a financially viable product.
So first, the nuts and bolts of what was announced yesterday at the OneNKY Summit:
-The creation of LINK Media, which is an independent, for-profit media startup, will publish regional content on multiple platforms including print, daily e-newsletters, multi-media podcasts, and video.
-The initiative involves the acquisition of Fort Thomas Matters and The River City News.
- Lacy Starling, founder of Legion Logistics and former reporter was named CEO of LINK. I was named Chief Operating Officer and Michael Monks, River City News Founder, will serve as Chief Content Officer.
My role will be strictly on the business and operations side. Michael will be strictly on the content side. Lacy will make sure that we are adhering to our mission and values and being good financial stewards of this organization so it can outlast us and provide Northern Kentucky the media platform is needs and deserves.
|Me, Lacy Starling and Michael Monks, announcing the creation of LINK Media, which includes acquisitions of Fort Thomas Matters and The River City News.|
In addition to its Lacy, Michael and I, LINK Media will be guided by two boards:
- Our managing board will include representatives from the OneNKY Alliance, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University, Horizon Community Funds and other key investors. This board, will play a key role in the organization's finances, including its fundraising efforts. Horizon Community Funds, for instance, is currently overseeing a dedicated fund for Link called the NKY Community Journalism Fund where members of the community can donate to the effort.
Our editorial board will consist of community members from throughout Kenton, Boone and Campbell counties. Members of this board have not yet been selected. We are taking feedback on who to include on this board here, which we hope will be very diverse.
What led to this?
The OneNKY Alliance spent two years incubating LINK after identifying a need for greater representation of Northern Kentucky in local, regional, and national media coverage.
What to expect next: the products:
RCN and FTM will operate under our existing brands for now, but will eventually be redesigned under the LINK branding.
The goal is to hire at least two reporters and one editor by January 2022, which is when Link will officially launch.
In addition to digital sites, LINK Media will send out a bimonthly print publication for free to every home in Northern Kentucky. The first edition is expected to land in mailboxes Dec. 29.
It was very important to provide news that our community cares about, regardless of access to technology or funds.
Charter, Supporting Sponsors:
We've had significant local business and individual support in our fundraising effort. Already signed on as Charter Sponsors to LINK include: Fischer Homes, C Forward, Jolly Plumbing and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
Supporting Sponsors include: CVG Airport and Duke Energy.
The One NKY Alliance deserves all the credit to spearheading the effort.
To learn more about sponsorship, investment or donation opportunity, please email me at Mark@LinkNKY.com.