The Austin-American Statesman has a opening for a new publisher.
Michael Vivio, publisher of the local newspaper and CEO of Statesman Co. for more than two years, is being promoted by parent company, Cox Media Group. Vivio will be president of Cox Target Media/Valpak effective in early January located in Largo, Florida in the Tampa/Saint Petersburg area.
The next publisher for the paper has not been named.
During his two-plus years in Austin, Vivio greatly expanded the revenue streams flowing from Statesman Co. Maximizing revenue streams is essential to keep a traditional newspaper afloat when the future of newspapers nationwide is in flux.
Notably, Vivio guided the newspaper to through an uncertain time when several Cox newspapers were for sale and sold. Eventually, the American-Statesman was taken off the market, probably because of its profitability and potential.
During his time at the Statesman, the organization launched two successful community newspapers, a website called hookem.com [more on that in a moment], and recently purchased InFactDaily, an online newsletter offering in-depth coverage of City Hall. This spring the newspaper was named Best Metro Newspaper by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, and Statesman.com was named Best Metro Online Newspaper by the same organization. It is also the largest printing facility in Central Texas.
“The challenges in this new job will be similar to those facing everyone in the traditional media business,” Vivio told me. “We will need to transition an established and profitable print operation into a digital future. Valpak has considerable brand awareness and momentum in digital coupons and I hope to build upon that to make the business strong long into the future.”
“Michael is an innovative leader with an excellent track record in media sales, marketing and digital business,” said Doug Franklin, Executive Vice President of Cox Media Group. “His people-centric management style will benefit our Valpak franchisees and Cox Target Media (CTM) employees. He also will be a great champion of the mailbox, our business clients and developing a complimentary digital portfolio to grow the Valpak brand and CTM businesses,” said a Cox news release.
“While the thought of leaving The Statesman Co. and Austin saddens me, I am energized by the new challenge ahead,” Vivio said. “Cox Target media/Valpak delivers savings and value to more than 40 million homes per month and is a national leader in the growing online coupon business. I see enormous potential to help build on the momentum established by the current team at Valpak,” Vivio said in a story in the December 6, 2010 Statesman.
“I will start commuting [to and from Florida] after the first of the year. My family will move over the summer,” Vivio told me. “Vivio is married to Beth Vivio, a full-time community volunteer, and has two sons, ages 8 and 12. He serves on the boards of the Salvation Army, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, United Way Capital Area, and the Texas Daily Newspaper Association,” the American-Statesman story said.
As a footnote, also announced in the Monday, December 06, 2010 American-Statesman, www.hookem.com is making big changes, hooking up with the 247sports.com network. Hookem.com becomes a “subscription-based website with premium content that is linked to, and part of, the national 247Sports.com,” the newspaper says.
The key words here, of course are “subscription-based”. “The new Hookem.com/247 Sports site stands with InFact Daily as a statement to our belief that readers will pay for highly specialized valuable content,” Vivio told me.
Yes, it’s another revenue stream, and it will, indeed, take “premium content” to attract readers. There is lots of more well-known competition for sports news.
InFactDaily.com is a subscription only electronic newswire covering city hall and Austin politics for insiders and others who are willing to pay for full access to its content.
© Jim McNabb, 2010