David Montgomery: we all should be thankful to Murdoch
September 30, 2010 by marek.miller
One of the guests of the 2010 INMA/OPA Europe Conference in Krakow was David Montgomery, the CEO of Mecom Group. In his speech, he addressed the most important issues Mecom is facing at the moment.
Mecom is not a typical company with typical management. In Mecom, there are owner and operators. There are also shareholders. Mecom is not only a local player, they own several national newspapers – Rzeczpospolita in Poland is one of them.
Mr. Montgomery during his speech assured, Mecom has no intent in selling their assets, he ensured they are going to keep it.
Media Regionalne is a Polish publisher part of Mecom Group. It is a publisher that developed its own citizen journalism platform. The efforts of Media Regionalne make David Montgomery very proud.
David Montgomery understands that Mecom is not only in print business. He prefers to see it they are in the content business, and more specifically – in local content. He knows that people are always interested in their society’s issues. That’s why being local is so important.
Mr. Montgomery addressed 5 most important issues that Mecom is dealing with:
- online newspaper
- local social network
- paid-for model
1. online newspaper. The more he looks at newspapers online, the more he thinks they are wrong. More and more content is introduced online, richer content as well. The strategy should not be about dumping all the content online. Online newspaper should be developing in other way than newspaper. By using the broadcast possibilities for instance.
2. local social network. Opportunity to expand into community network where families have a way to archive their documents etc.
3. collective selling on behalf of communities. Service and engagement to readers that expands their presence online.
4. mobile. Mecom has a dedicated innovation group in Kopenhagen, drilling the ideas to expand. Mobile is a “coming home”, it’s like a tabloid but on the move. Again, local should be the key in mobile strategy.
5. paid for content. Future of the industry depends on it. Content online is as valuable as content in print. Mecom surely does not want to give the content away for free.
David Montgomery has also addressed the efforts concerning the paid-for model: everyone should be thankful to Murdoch – as usual he sets the standards. He tells the world publishers should not be giving their content away for free. He probably will be the first person to say he got it wrong. David Montgomery does not think the model at the Times will survive, but knowing Murdoch, it will evolve into something that does work after all.