“워싱턴포스트는 워싱턴에 없어서는 안되는 가이드가 돼야 한다”

워싱턴포스트의 Katharine Weymouth 발행인과 Marcus Brauchli 편집국장이 지난 10일 오전 10시, 주요 핵심 임원들과 만나 워싱턴포스트의 장기전략을 논의했다고 Politoco.com이 지난 10일 보도했습니다.

Politoco.com가 입수한 메모에 따르면 Weymouth 발행인은 “우리의 목표는 워싱턴포스트가 강력한 영향력을 지닌 매체로 계속 남는 것”이라고 강조했다고 합니다. 이를 위해 워싱턴포스트는 지난 여름께, 분야별 파트에서 40명의 핵심 인재들을 불러, 신문의 상황 등에 대한 구체적인 분석을 지시했다고 합니다.

이를 통해 도출된 워싱턴포스트의 장기 전략은 3개의 기본 축으로 구성될 것이라고 이 신문을 전하고 있습니다. 궁극적으로 워싱턴포스트는가 소비자들에게 없어서는 안되는 필수품이 되기 위한 전략이라고 하는군요. 요즘 미국에선 ‘로컬로 로컬로 로컬로’라는 전략이 대안적 비즈모델로 부상하고 있는데요. 사실상 전국지의 지위를 누리고 있는 워싱턴포스트가 ‘로컬성 강화’로 위기 국면을 타개하겠다는 의지를 드러낸 게 아닌가 짐작됩니다.

  1. Being about Washington, for Washingtonians, and those affected by it(워싱턴에 관한, 워싱턴 시민을 위한, 워싱턴에 의해 운영되는 – ‘those affected by it’ 이 문구를 어떻게 해석해야 할까요?)
  2. Providing utility, engagement, and convenience for our local readers(지역 독자들에게 유용성과 참여, 편리함을 제공한다.)
  3. Extending our brand with new products and new platforms(새로운 상품과 새로운 플랫폼으로 우리의 브랜드를 확장한다.)

다음은 Politoco.com이 공개한 메모 전문입니다.

To: Staff
From: Katharine Weymouth
Re: The Road Forward

12/10/08

imageThis has been an eventful –and difficult—year for the news business, in print and online. Since becoming publisher of The Washington Post and our web site earlier this year, I have made a concerted effort to assess the state of our business, and with the help of all of you, to develop a strategic framework to guide our future direction. My goal is to ensure
that The Post remains strong, at a time when our mission of making sense of Washington has never been more important, both for members of our local community, and for those in our large national online audience who are impacted by what happens in the nation’s capital.

Over the course of the summer, a team of forty staff members, drawn from every department of the newspaper and the web site, conducted a detailed analysis of our business, evaluating how well we serve our audience’s needs and interests, how effective our products are in creating value for advertisers, how cost-effective we are in the way we publish, and where we hold unique competitive advantage when compared with the many alternative sources of news, information, and e-commerce made possible by the new digital economy. Underlying this effort has been our realization that while our online business is growing steadily, that growth is not enough to offset the larger declines in print revenue and profitability that we are experiencing.

The purpose of our strategy review was not to answer with great precision how to “fix” our business model overnight—there is no quick, easy response to the sea changes already disrupting our industry before the financial meltdown of this Fall. Our goal was to propose an integrated set of choices that will allow us to preserve our commitment to journalistic excellence while also positioning the company to generate strong financial returns over the long run. By setting forth a common framework for decision-making, we hope we are providing your departments with the tools for prioritizing what we do as an organization, so that we focus our increasingly scarce resources on things that will make us indispensable to our customers, and thus create value for our business, while eliminating efforts that no longer make a difference to our readers.

At the heart of our strategy is the fact that our home market is not only an affluent, highly educated, growing market, but that it is, of course uniquely, the nation’s capital and the seat of government. More than ever, The Washington Post must be the indispensable guide to Washington. In the capital and beyond the Beltway, The Washington Post delivers news and understanding about the politics, policies, personalities and institutions that make Washington the world’s seat of power. For people in the metropolitan area, The Post must also inform, engage, entertain and facilitate their handling of practical, everyday problem solving.

The three pillars of our strategy are:

Being about Washington, for Washingtonians, and those affected by it

Providing utility, engagement, and convenience for our local readers

Extending our brand with new products and new platforms

Being for, and about Washington, means addressing our local readers’ core needs. Strong news coverage, enterprise and investigative reporting, expert analysis and informed commentary will continue to be important tools in making sense for local readers of the world around them. On washingtonpost.com, we will need to up our efforts to cover breaking news, and to use video in that coverage, if video is how our viewers wish to follow the story.

We must also make our local readers’ lives easier by increasing the practical utility of our site, and make the paper and washingtonpost.com go-to places for local information such as entertainment listings, weather and traffic, job postings, real estate and auto listings, and other classified services and marketplaces. We must make it possible for local consumers not only to find the kind of practical information that can aid a purchase decision, but make it possible for them to complete many of these transactions on the site itself.

To expand our revenue base and diversify our business model, we must look for opportunities to create new products, especially in the areas where business and policy intersect. These may include the hosting of specialized conferences for business decision makers with a stake in Washington policy-making, and the development of premium subscription products for business clients.

To achieve the goals outlined above, we must make fundamental changes to our business culture. We must focus better on what the consumer indicates they want, and be less quick to emphasize only what we think is important. We must create a nimble, high-performance culture. And we must realign our cost structure to match this strategy. This realignment of our cost structure must be fast. The decline in our revenue base, particularly in classified advertising, requires decisive action. But cutting our cost structure must be done in a way that protects our brand, and lays the foundation for future growth.

One thing this strategy does not change is our bedrock principles. We will always be committed to producing great journalism, building a strong business, serving our readers, being an exceptional place to work and a responsible member of our community. To be faithful to these principles at a time of great change, we will need to be creative, adaptive, and resourceful in the way we position our business going forward. I know of no better group to meet these challenges than our team today, and I couldn’t be more excited about working with you to forge this future.

당시의 댓글

광파리 2008/12/14 20:06

몽양부활님 글을 보면 미디어 분야에 대한 내공이 대단하다는 걸 느낍니다.
어제 워싱턴포스트 계열 뉴스위크도 변신을 꾀하고 있다는 글을 썼는데
제가 표현력이 부족해서인지 일부 독자와 한참동안 토론을 벌여야 했습니다.
시사주간지인 뉴스위크로서는 감원 감면 감부는 물론 논지 자체를 바꾸려 하고 있죠.
맹숭맹숭한 내용으론 안된다, 좀더 자극적(provocative)으로 가자…이겁니다.
제 글을 한 번 보시고 뭐가 잘못됐는지 알려주시면 감사하겠습니까.
주소는 http://blog.hankyung.com/kim215/205913
부탁드립니다.