While some publishers question the contributor model,
others seem to be embracing it.
Tronc — publisher of the Chicago Tribune and
the Los Angeles Times among others — is considering
launching a contributor network, an investor presentation
The presentation, given on Thursday, appears in stark
contrast to other publishers including HuffPost, which
announced that it was shutting down its contributor
For years, contributor networks were seen as a proven way
for publishers to scale quickly and affordably. Then they
went out of fashion.
But Tronc — publisher of the Chicago Tribune, the Los
Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun among others — is
considering launching a contributor network, an investor
presentation suggests. The presentation, given on Thursday, was
also tweeted out by Matt Pearce, a national correspondent for the
Los Angeles Times.
According to a slide in
the presentation, the company is going to seek out “experts”
with self-distribution and promotion capabilities as it looks to
shift its emphasis to “more audience-targeted, self distributed
and cost-effective models.”
The move appears in stark contrast to other publishers, several
of whom have veered toward chasing quality over scale lately,
moving away from contributor networks. In fact, just this
morning, HuffPost announced that it was launching two
new products — Opinion & Personal — and was shutting
down its contributor blogging network.
It also follows reports of a union drive at
the Los Angeles Times, which has been propelled in
part by related concerns over the commitment of the paper’s
leadership to its journalism and its financial soundness,
according to NPR. Federal regulators plan to announce
the result of the vote over whether a union would be recognized
at the newspaper on Friday.
Business Insider has reached out to Tronc for a comment but
had not heard back at the time of publication.