Finally, ‘More Content’ on the internet

If you’re reading this, it’s already too late. You’ve discovered “More Content.”

Yes, I’m fully aware of how crowded the internet already is, and yes, if I were truly savvy, this would be an Instagram Reel where I point at words while that Sugarhill Gang song plays. Those are both fair points, but at least for now (pending my eventual pivot to video), this is my new online home for more content.

In between leaving KTLA in 2021, taking some time off and eventually working as a media consultant, I realized just how little outsiders know about the news industry. Journalism, particularly TV news, served as the ultimate gatekeeper for most of the 20th century, and even though technology has chipped away at much of that power dynamic, news consumers are still very much in the dark about what stories get covered and why.

Nowadays, and I say this with truly no cynicism, anyone can reach a mass audience without going through the proper media channels of yore. That’s not to say landing an appearance on cable news isn’t valuable. It is. But, mass media and traditional news outlets are just one piece of a media ecosystem that’s changing by the day (and the device).

Armed with that knowledge, a lot of people (and brands) have skipped traditional news outlets and put their messages out in the world on their own channels. Over the last 20 years, search, social, email, text, newsletters, etc. have empowered millions and redefined how we communicate, and it’s only accelerating. If you’re Dunkin’ (Donuts), would you rather pitch National Doughnut Day to a local TV newsroom or a TikTok House?

Before we get too far down the influencer marketing rabbit hole, let’s get back to news.

I always say, “news leads to more news.” If you can get coverage — any coverage — your chances of getting more coverage go up exponentially. That sounds simple, but for folks outside of news, it’s not that obvious.

Picture the morning editorial meeting at any newsroom in any market. Half the stuff journalists are pitching are stories from other news outlets. I had a managing editor who would literally browse a copy of the LA Times for the entire meeting. Every few minutes, we’d hear a meandering pitch start off with, “Oh, well now here’s something interesting.”

Journalists are the No. 1 consumer of news. They have to be. They need to know what stories are out there, who’s reporting what, which angles have already been covered and how can the narrative be advanced for future stories. You want to see something overwhelming? Check out a journalist’s phone. The lock screen is choking on push alerts from every news outlet in the country. Twitter? It’s a swarm of journalists retweeting each other.

Podcasts, news radio, eavesdropping at restaurants: journalists are constantly consuming news and pitching it to each other with fresh angles and elements. It only took two weeks of pitch meetings for an executive producer I used to work with to figure out which three websites our new news director was reading every morning.

That’s a long-winded way to say if you’re trying to get press coverage, embrace smaller outlets. No operation is too small if you’re trying to build momentum for story. Go ahead and book that brand new podcast. You never know who’s listening, and what opportunities that’ll create. That’s a no-brainer, right? Right?

What to expect from ‘More Content’

We recently had a client who wanted to book more television appearances to help elevate her organization’s profile. When I suggested a sizzle reel and media kit to help with pitching, those came off as foreign concepts — not because they’re revolutionary or hard to come by, but because folks outside of media have either 1) never heard of those items, or 2) are not aware of how important supportive media can be in landing appearances.

Again, it’s just a matter of people not knowing what they don’t know, and why should they? The news industry is opaque by design.

Thus, “More Content” was born. I’m hoping this will be a space for me to expand on industry trends, demystify the news world and help outsiders find a way around some of that legacy gatekeeping. I’ll probably start with a series on “how to get on TV.” It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think. More on that, coming soon.

I’d also like to dive into OTT, programmatic, SEO, recruiting and rethinking analytics. I’ve spent the last 17 years working non-stop in news, and while I appreciate the last few months off, I’m looking forward to expanding Newsworthy LLC and bringing on news clients.

There’s no set schedule, so if you’d like to be notified of new posts from “More Content,” subscribe here.

Good luck in the coming business quarter,