December 07, 2021

Shaw Media one of 30 news publishers from across the United States to participate in the Meta Journalism Project’s US Reader Revenue Accelerators

Crystal Lake, Illinois — Shaw Media was named one of the 30 news publishers from across the United States selected to participate in the Meta Journalism Project’s US Reader Revenue Accelerators.

“We are thrilled to join this program,” Vice President and Chief Product Office Tom Shaw said. There are so many opportunities we have to improve our business model and we’re looking forward to working on the solutions that have the most impact. This is an exciting time to be in the business of local journalism.”

The program begins in late November.

“We continue to be impressed by the quality and volume of applicants for each round of Accelerator programs,” said Dorrine Mendoza, local news partnerships manager at Meta. “There are so many publishers doing solid work, and running successful businesses who are ready to take things to the next level.”

Meta’s Accelerator is a robust training program built specifically to equip newsroom personnel with the skills, tools and resources they need to build viable and adaptable businesses. The Meta Journalism Project Accelerator has trained staff from more than 400 publishers from around the globe.

In the US, the Accelerator program has trained more than 100 participating publishers and more than 500 participating individuals since its inception in 2018. This group plays an important role in shaping the future of the program: more than half of this year’s participants were referred by an Accelerator alum.

Globally, Accelerator publishers report generating more than $60 million in customer value from 200K+ new paying subscribers and more than 2M new registered readers, showcasing that specialized coaching, training and support can help organizations in their efforts to build sustainable news businesses.

The program’s training is led by Blue Engine Collaborative, a consortium of mission-driven consultants and advisors focused on driving digital audience growth and revenue. Led by founder and CEO Tim Griggs, the Blue Engine team coaches all of the Accelerator’s Reader Revenue programs. Grants are distributed by the Local Media Association (LMA).

“We cannot wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work with this awesome cohort of news organizations,” said Griggs. “This group has everything: entrepreneurial startups, long-tenured community publishers, ambitious digital-only players, etc., representing a wide range of geographies and interests and digital reader revenue starting points. We’re humbled and honored to help support their efforts at getting better, faster, at driving direct consumer revenue.”

During the intensive portion of the program, participating publishers will work alongside peers at other news organizations, allowing them to learn from the experiences of a wide array of news outlets.

“Meta’s investment in Reader Revenue Accelerators is helping so many companies during this critical time,” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer at the LMA. “The curriculum, led by Blue Engine Collaborative, is absolutely game changing. The $50,000 grants enable publishers to invest in things that help with their execution, such as technology and marketing. As a result, graduates of the Accelerator are experiencing significant growth. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting industry initiative.”

Over the course of the 9-month virtual training program, participants will engage in learning sessions built on the following 4 pillars:

  1. Virtual workshops where participants work with experts and participate in hands-on exercises.
  2. Weekly calls with a dedicated, world-class expert coach.
  3. Grant funding to execute projects using lessons learned.
  4. A community of shared practice in which people work together to support one another’s progress.

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