News Revenue Hub… simply looking at that name, I think to myself a few things. “These folks must know a lot about what’s going on the world today” and “Why are ‘News’ and ‘Revenue’ both in the title of this company?“.
I never really think of the newspaper being a big revenue creating machine; after all, it seems to be a fairly low cost/paper edition of the local paper. Especially when buying it from the local-entrepreneurial-minded-fella standing in the median on Rosecrans in Point Loma. But then again, that may just be me growing up in small town Berlin, MD; known best to the world as Hale, MD of “Runaway Bride”. Ironically being about
a news reporter from NYC and his pursuit of interviewing a small town “Runaway Bride”.
Enter News Revenue Hub; a Moniker Commons members since September 2017! The
other day, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mary Walter-Brown, the CEO, and Christina Shih, the COO. While talking to them, I was able to learn more about News Revenue Hub, what they do, some of their accomplishments, as well as Mary & Christina’s favorite things to do in San Diego.
Read below to learn more!
Moniker Commons (MC) : What is News Revenue Hub?
News Revenue Hub (NRH) : The News Revenue Hub is a media firm that helps digital newsrooms grow and monetize their audience. We provide the technology and strategy to help news organizations build membership programs and recruit a community of supporters.
MC : How did News Revenue Hub start?
NRH : The Hub’s executive team, Mary Walter-Brown, Christina Shih and Tristan Loper (who lives in Florida!), all worked at Voice of San Diego, a local nonprofit investigative news organization, where we developed a best-in-class membership program for nonprofit digital news.
We wanted to see if we could help replicate our business model in other newsrooms. So we took on five clients in November 2016. It was a success and we spun off to become our own company in July of 2017. We now work with fifteen and counting newsrooms.
MC : News Revenue Hub is just over a year old, but everyone on your team is well established in the media industry. Since starting NRH and now entering your second year, what have you all learned or found to be the biggest hurdle?
NRH : People aren’t used to paying for news, especially digital content. If you don’t have a hard newspaper in your hands, it can be hard to imagine what your money goes towards. But quality journalism and access to information is vital to our democracy. If you consume news, consider your role in keeping it going and invest in it. Buy a subscription, make a donation, do whatever you can do.
MC : Over the last 14 months, what has been a collective big victory?
NRH : We’ve helped our clients raise $2.7 million in reader revenue and an additional $1.2 million that will come in over the next year.
MC : News Revenue Hub works with Voice of San Diego, a local non-profit news organization here in San Diego. How can people regularly read or listen to the media that Voice of San Diego produces?
NRH : Sign up for the Morning Report. It’s a daily email that summarizes all the important local news you need to start your day. You can also listen to the VOSD Podcast which can be found wherever you listen to your podcasts. It comes out every Friday and recaps the public affairs happenings of the week.
Christina Shih (CS) : VOSD recently put out a free Guide to Public Schools which breaks down the stats of every public school in the County. If you’re a parent and starting to think about school choice, it’s a great resource that breaks down the different educational pathways that are available to you. I also worked on the data crunching part so I am happy to talk to anyone about what the stats means or how to navigate the CA Schools Dashboard rating system. Email me: Christina@fundjournalism.org
MC : You’ve got a whole free day in San Diego, what do you do with it?
CS : Go to the beach and eat a burrito.
Mary Walter-Brown (MWB) : hike up Cowles Mountain, get a smoothie at the local smoothie shack (by Cowles), get a great pedicure and read a good book overlooking Lake Murray.
MC : What is your favorite thing about being members of Moniker Commons?
CS : The free third wave coffee.
MWB : yes! Certainly the coffee.
MC : What’s your favorite 90s jam?
CS : Usher’s Nice and Slow.
MWB : REM
MC : Do you read a media publication every day? If so, what is it?
CS : I listen to The Daily, from The New York Times every day. I also enjoy morning newsletters like The Broadsheet, Axios, VOSD’s Morning Report,
MWB : The Washington Post
Moniker Commons : Is there a restaurant or café in San Diego that if they closed, you literally might not leave the bed for 40 days because of severe sadness?
Christina Shih : Albie’s Beef Inn… oh wait. 🙁 Sushi Ota!
Mary Walter-Brown : Local Greens
To learn more about News Revenue Hub and get in touch with them directly, check out their website and fill out their contact page. We love having both Mary and Christina as a part of the Moniker Commons community and loving seeing their company grow!
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