PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia Media Network Inc. (PMN) announced today a series of design, content and product enhancements at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and philly.com, positioning the two newspapers and website to be more competitive in the new media landscape. "Today, the Philadelphia Media Network begins delivering on the promise that we made to this community when our company was formed four months ago, which is to become the most successful regional media company in the United States. We are no longer going to operate as a newspaper company. We are a network that publishes text, video and audio content for the three most prestigious media brands in the Philadelphia region," said Greg Osberg, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia Media Network. "In The Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com we are launching several exciting editorial and design initiatives in 2011 that revolve around three guiding principles at PMN: innovation through our commitment to new products, relevance in our rapid delivery of content and performance in how we create exciting advertising sponsorships."
Beginning with The Inquirer's edition today, more local and original content has been added in the A section, with a rotation of contributing columnists on the new A2 page, InSights, which includes author and former Newsweek columnist Julia Baird every Tuesday and the national and local radio talk show host and author Michael Smerconish every Friday. The new A3 page will rotate with a change in themes throughout the week referenced as In Health, In The Economy, In Education and In Politics. Two main features will accompany the A3 topic consisting of a daily story, column or Q & A and excerpts from "best of breed" blogs on the featured theme, converging the worlds of print and digital content. The Inquirer has redesigned the business section focusing on five rotating daily themes: Small Business (Mondays); Personal Finance & Investing (Tuesdays); Automotive (Wednesdays); Tech Life (Thursdays) and Residential Real Estate (Fridays). In addition, Inquirer readers will find a more contemporary design on each section cover with stories throughout the paper providing greater, integrated reader experiences with philly.com. "The changes we are making today represent a major commitment to our loyal readers, emphasizing a special focus on topics such as politics, education, the economy and health care in a prominent way in the A section. That also goes for our themed approach in Business. And we will use our very best reporters and editors to deliver the news on these topics in a myriad of ways in both print and online," said Stan Wischnowski, Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Daily News recently announced a new editor, Larry Platt, who begins his position today. Previously editor of Philadelphia Magazine, Platt immediately introduced several, key content additions to the Daily News, highlighted by a new, weekly contributing sports columnist, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. "I think the Daily News has the best sports section in America. I think it's the most readable and the most entertaining sports section in the country and I'm excited to be a part of it," said Rendell in response to accepting his new columnist role.
Platt also noted that Pulitzer Prize winning, best-selling author Buzz Bissinger will serve as Daily News Editorial Advisor and occasional guest columnist and that former Daily News Editorial Page Editor and Pulitzer Prize winner, Richard Aregood will contribute a monthly Public Editor column.
Effective February 1, the Daily News cover tagline will change from The People Paper to The People's Paper. In announcing the new tagline, Platt said, "I, for one, embrace the Daily News' role in the city. The tagline is a subtle change, but it signals that we're going to have even more of a crusading and activist point of view on behalf of our reader's interests -- and we're going to do it in a fun way, with lots of attitude." Platt will also introduce an Editor's Letter on February 1, further establishing a platform to communicate directly with Daily News readers. In addition, Platt is introducing a monthly sports calendar February 1 for Daily News sports enthusiasts, highlighting "can't miss" sporting events in the region.
Philadelphia Media Network launches their first paid content initiative for both papers today on Philly.com, Inquirer Digital and Daily News Digital. Philly.com remains a free portal site, but for online readers seeking a newspaper format experience for "page through" e-reader devices, PMN will begin offering these digital products only with a paid subscription. Osberg emphasized the importance of Inquirer Digital and Daily News Digital in summarizing a series of technology enhancements, "Philly.com has become the largest Internet portal in the region. We are making a significant investment in mobile equipment and technology so that our reporters will have the ability to file stories, audio and video while on assignment, thereby making our digital products the most coveted resources for readers seeking immediate news, sports and entertainment coverage." Osberg noted an upcoming site redesign for philly.com will make it easier to navigate, attract and expand important franchises and partnerships for additional content. Wendy Warren, vice president for content and editor of the site added, "Our redesign will make for a better user experience, as philly.com evolves to become a portal that will bring Philly-area readers news and information they need from many sources, including the award-winning staffs of The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News – who now are able to report from wherever the story may be. We'll make it easier still to find our editorial content with a series of new apps in 2011 for mobile devices. Philly.com will also continue to help our readers save money, featuring our Philly Dealyo."
Beginning February 1, Philadelphia Media Network will expand the number and scope of deals it offers to customers and philly.com visitors through Philly Dealyo. PMN has found the daily deal model provides a dependable method to drive new and repeat business to local merchants. Philly Dealyo will now offer a deal a day in four regional locations throughout the Delaware Valley, which include; Philadelphia, South Jersey, the Northern Suburbs and the Western Suburbs. Google's recent attempt to purchase an established daily deal company for six billion validates the current and potential revenue in this business model. From a merchant perspective, Philly Dealyo offers an opportunity to reach two million people in a truly cost efficient way.
"Philly Dealyo is a hit with both our readers and our advertisers, and it is a business model that we want to continue to build upon and expand as we look for new opportunities for our advertisers and a way to provide value added content to our readers," said Osberg.
Philadelphia Media Network announced a letter of intent with Philadelphia City Paper to provide readers with access to City Paper news and content through the Philly.com portal. An award-winning source of information on politics, activism, arts, music, food and more for 30 years, Philadelphia City Paper was named the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association's 2010 non-daily newspaper of the year. Osberg said, "Enhancing Philly.com with City Paper content will provide our readers with access to a broader range of news, opinion, and information from throughout the region. Nancy Stuski, Publisher of Philadelphia City Paper responded in a statement, "I'm always excited to bring new audiences to City Paper's vibrant and informative content, and this partnership with philly.com will enable us to reach even more people who live, work and play in the city, while also providing unique advertising and promotional opportunities for our customers."
In other alliance announcements, Philadelphia Media Network has entered into a partnership with the satirical newspaper, The Onion, and its entertainment-focused sister publication The A.V. Club. Under this agreement, The Onion maintains exclusive rights over all creative content, while PMN assumes business management responsibilities, including advertising sales, printing and distribution. The partnership will bring print editions of The Onion to Philadelphia street corners, coffee shops and bookstores for the first time, during the first quarter of 2011. "The city of Philadelphia is synonymous with liberty," said Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion. "Likewise, The Onion is synonymous with the unfettered freedom to mock those people and institutions in need of a good satirical slap. We are confident this partnership with Philadelphia Media Network will be a complementary arrangement and are excited to bring our satire to new territory." Osberg noted, "The Onion partnership provides Philadelphia Media Network a unique opportunity to reach a younger demographic and have an instant connection to college campuses throughout the region, providing another platform for our advertisers to effectively target an important audience."
About Philadelphia Media Network
Philadelphia Media Network, Inc. (PMN) is the owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com. With its multiple brand platforms and integrated print and digital products, PMN is the region's largest media network and the industry's technological leader and innovator. The Philadelphia Media Network reaches an average weekly audience of 2.2 million adults – more than the combination of the three evening television news shows or the combination of those radio stations ranked in the top ten during drive-time programming.
SOURCE Philadelphia Media Network Inc.