I was doing more thinking about Rob Barrett’s Latimes.com presentation I heard at the Kelsey conference last week. The decision to re-center their online strategy around hyperlocal is one of the sanest, most courageous and possibly most difficult strategic decisions I’ve heard come out of a traditional media group in a long long time.
Why? I was re-reading this blog post conclusion I wrote 15 months ago, “In a few years, you might find only authoritative international newspaper brands (New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, La Stampa, The Globe & Mail, etc.) and strong hyperlocal newspapers. All the ones in the middle will either have evolved or died.”
I suspect that building one of those big international newspaper brands is perceived as the holy grail of the newspaper industry and you can easily imagine that, for many years, the Los Angeles Times management team believed they would be one of those. Moving their online strategy to hyperlocal wasn’t a very sexy and exciting decision but it’s exactly what is needed to make the LA Times brand succeed online.