(This case study, the fourth in an occasional series, was underwritten by a grant from the Stibo Foundation.)
USA Today has probably changed more in the last two years than in its previous 30.
Always a circulation-driven enterprise, the paper now has a radically different audience strategy, substituting mobile app traffic for the rapidly falling readership of its legacy print edition and folding a new condensed USA Today section into the largest 35 of Gannett’s 81 community newspapers.
Publisher Larry Kramer and his hand-picked editor, David Callaway, brought several decades of digital experience to the formidable task of finally breaking away from a print-first culture in the USA Today newsroom.
That these things happened has been reported by the company in recent presentations to investors, in two stories by the Wrap’s Sharon Waxman and in a nice summary piece this week by David Cay Johnston at CJR.com.
How it all happened is quite a tale as well — a combination of bold moves and smart mid-course adjustments, a case in point of digital transformation generally but also one that required shedding the particular baggage of USA Today’s brief but turbulent history. Read more