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WNN - Watertown Daily Times - Interviews

John B. Johnson

V.P. & G.M., Northern N.Y. Newspaper Corp.

John B. Johnson, VP and General Manager of Northern New York Newspaper Corporation, a division of Johnson Newspaper Corporation

Following graduation from Wesleyan in 1994, John moved to Chicago to work for Rand McNally and Company as a children’s book editor and as a marketing manager for Rand McNally’s TripMaker software. After four years at Rand McNally, John earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2002, after which he and his wife Kate moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul where John took a job with 3M. At 3M, he was the group business unit manager responsible for a portfolio of business teams within the Post-it brand.

John returned to Watertown in August of 2008 to join the Johnson Newspaper Corporation where he is the Vice President and General Manager of Northern New York Newspaper Corporation, the largest division in the Johnson Newspaper Corporation. In that role, he has operating and strategic responsibility for a portfolio of daily and weekly publications and their associated websites.

[NY 0101] - Part 1: Intro and Contribution (5:54)

John B. Johnson, V.P. & G.M., Northern N.Y. Newspaper Corp., is the fourth generation of the Johnson family to lead the Watertown Daily Times. Johnson says The Watertown Daily Times, and its sister newspapers in the northern New York counties, help their readers “make sense of their communities” in a region where some local government agencies “like to hold onto information” and not share it with their citizens.

[NY 0102] - Part 2: Strategic Changes (4:58)

John B. Johnson, V.P. & G.M., Northern N.Y. Newspaper Corp., says, “We fundamentally believe that the core strength of a news organization is its content gathering and its content creation.” The Times has backed that up by avoiding editorial staff layoffs during the recent recession.

[NY 0103] - Part 3: Adaptation & the Future (9:00)

John B. Johnson, V.P. & G.M., Northern N.Y. Newspaper Corp., is a strong advocate of reader on-line comments. He says readers, “need a forum to comment with each other around a shared body of [community] interest.”

[NY 0104] - Part 4: Digital Sales & Revenues (5:12)

John B. Johnson, V.P. & G.M., Northern N.Y. Newspaper Corp., says The Watertown Daily Times uses cross-generational sales-staff teams to pursue advertising for the newspaper and online. But to date, Johnson says, “One month of ROP newspaper ad sales exeeds the newspaper’s annual digital advertising revenue.”

[NY 0105] - Part 5: Prospects & Preparation (2:24)

John B. Johnson, V.P. & G.M., Northern N.Y. Newspaper Corp., believes his newspaper will be around for a long time. Johnson says the Watertown Daily Times provokes, “the community to talk about themselves and how they want their community to be managed.” Therefore, says Johnson, “There is no better business to be in.”