Johnston Press Enthusiastic On Multi-Platform In Online Investment

Johnston Press CEO Tim Dowdler gave The Independent some more detail on the planned £10 million digital investment from Britain’s biggest regional newspaper publisher: “I can see us becoming a broad- based media company with a local TV and a local radio business. But print will remain fundamentally important … I can envisage that happening (websites becoming more important than the papers). We really are on a long journey where digital and print are equally important parts of the business. There is some overlap between our newspapers and our websites, but online readers tend not to be readers of the papers. For us, that is great.

As reported, Johnston posted 33.5 percent better digital revenue in annual earnings to June last week; Dowdler credited a re-focused online sales team and the relaunch of the JobsToday classifieds site; he then announced an increase in the group’s online budget for next year. Though Johnson is a mainly local print operator, most of its newsrooms have converted to offer rolling online output, said Dowdler: “Suddenly, we are in the business of breaking news again. That is something that we have not done for a while, and our journalists are loving it.”