Focusing on high-quality journalism that’s essential to communities has allowed Hearst Newspapers to grow during challenging times, the company’s president Jeff Johnson has said in a new interview.
“The mission of serving the readership and holding the powerful accountable and giving a voice to the powerless – those are important statements, and we believe in them sincerely,” Johnson told Editor and Publisher. “Sometimes there are tough days in the newspaper business. Right? And you’ve got to work through that, and it helps us quite a bit to have the support of Hearst.”
Hearst Newspapers has 24 daily and 52 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Connecticut Media Group and the Times Union in Albany.
Johnson estimated that Hearst’s revenue is close to 50/50 between advertising and consumers, saying that balancing the revenue from advertising and consumers not only shows readers care about their journalism, but also reduces volatility.
He stressed the importance of newspaper companies investing in content and showing readers they are an essential service in the community.
“In the long run, that’s always been our role, and if you deviate from that importance in the community, it doesn’t seem like that’s a sustainable model,” he said.