For Shaw Media, the most promising source of digital revenue growth is through their digital subscriptions, which is why the organization recently launched Shaw Local, a digital local news network covering northern Illinois. It includes all of Shaw Media’s local news coverage from its 53 Illinois newspapers and magazines.
According to J. Tom Shaw, vice president and chief product officer, the discussions for what would become Shaw Local goes back to 2019 when the organization was self-reflecting on their successes and the failures. They had experienced a few years of digital subscription growth, but it had traditionally been a small percentage of their total revenue. So, they began to explore how to grow it. Research suggested that by chasing a larger audience there would be a better chance of growth.
Once Shaw Media landed on expanding their brand, they upgraded their technology, including a switch to Arc Publishing, the Washington Post’s content management system. From there, Shaw Local was created.