Big Things Happening at EO Media Group

Heidi Wright, Chief Operating Officer, EO Media Group
Heidi Wright, Chief Operating Officer, EO Media Group

This is a unique time in the history of our industry and in our company.  Industry wide, advertising revenues are shifting and at the same time readers have more options than ever to get their news. We, as a company, have to be responsive to these shifts and changes. To do so, we are following two basics of business:

  • Manage expenses to the revenue that is available, so we remain financially strong;
  • Bring more revenue in the door, so we can grow the company.

If we do these two things well and focus our efforts on delivering credible and relevant content that reflect our communities, our future is bright. Let’s look at the big things happening at EO Media Group.

Mail Delivery

The East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald moved completely to mail delivery, beginning Nov 1.  Kathryn Brown, owner and EO publisher, wrote an excellent article about the change. The expense savings from this change are substantial, plus delivery issues that have plagued the Pendleton and Hermiston markets are resolved. Kathryn and her team have done a great job of ensuring a smooth transition, with minimal subscriber loss to date.

North Coast

I’m pleased to announce Kari Borgen will be joining us as publisher and revenue director for The Daily Astorian and other North Coast publications, beginning Dec 1. Kari replaces former publisher and editor David Pero, who left the company at the end of October. In addition to her publisher duties, Kari will have direct responsibilities for the advertising department. The advertising director position, previously held by Betty Smith, will not be filled. Managing editor Jim Van Nostrand will assume the role of editor and Derrick DePledge has been promoted to managing editor.

The newspapers Kari currently oversees, the Baker City Herald and LaGrande Observer in eastern Oregon, are well-run, profitable and an indispensable part of the communities they serve, thanks in large part to Kari’s efforts.

We look forward to Kari and her family becoming a valued part of the North Coast community. See more about this transition.

Hermiston

At the Hermiston Herald and East Oregonian, we moved from three leaders to two in the newsroom.  Gary West, our long-time colleague who worked at Capital Press and the central design team before serving as editor for the Herald, is no longer with the company.  We wish him the very best in his future endeavors. With this change, Jade McDowell’s role will be expanding, with guidance from Daniel Wattenburger.

MSG Marketing Data

MSG marketing data is about to make its premiere, led by Michael Keith. This data will be used on both the advertising and circulation side, so we can be more effective with our circulation acquisition and retention efforts, plus give our ad staff more information about businesses in our markets and the audiences we reach. This system also automates the majority of circulation marketing calls. With this in mind, the circulation marketing department was downsized by two employees last month.

Brainworks

The Brainworks software transition is almost complete. Everyone who worked on this project deserves a big thank you. It was more difficult and took longer to complete than anyone envisioned, but we are coming out of the other end and the software will serve us well going forward. While there are still some bugs to work out, here are a few positives we will see soon: e-statements are readily available, cutting postage costs; the customer relationship management (CRM) tool will give the advertising reps a cleaner interface with instant access to all customer data in the field; plus, our advertising reps will have the ability to prospect more effectively for new clients.

Northwest Ag Show

Due to challenges with the venue and several other factors, we decided to not go forward with the Northwest Ag Show this year. For next year, plans are being developed to move the show out of Portland and add other elements that will attract more vendors and foot traffic. Stay tuned.

We don’t take any of these changes lightly, especially ones that affect our employee’s jobs. Each of the above moves was made with an eye on growth and viability of the company.

Thank you for being a part of EO Media Group and helping ensure the future success of our company.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. My e-mail is: hwright@eomediagroup.com and my direct line is (503) 385-4902.

— Heidi Wright, COO