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The Pilot’s acquisition of “Business North Carolina” a solid strategy to diversify revenue streams

By Phelps, Cutler & Associates

January 28, 2015 – Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) reported yesterday that the twice-weekly The Pilot, headquartered in Southern Pines, N.C. has agreed to purchase Business North Carolina magazine. It will be The Pilot’s third regional magazine title. The business publication is currently owned by Red Hand Media of Charlotte, NC.

The monthly magazine has a statewide circulation of approximately 27,500, according to SNPA, and “has won more than 100 national awards and was named the country’s best regional business magazine in 2012.”

Owning or launching regional business publications, whether published in print or digitally, is a good business decision, in the opinion of Lou Phelps, Managing Principal of PC&A. Her company publishes business news in three Georgia metro areas, and has helped clients launch regional business newspapers in other markets.

“The business reader is the ‘cream-of-the-crop’ advertising target in most markets; they are affluent and they are decision-makers,” explains Phelps. “But, it is also a great way for print dailies – who work hard to have strong business relationships with their local advertiser communities – to serve this readership group. We don’t have space in the print daily on a regular basis, to provide substantive business news.”

“Because most dailies can’t afford a Business Editor anymore, they end up running AP wire business stories on their ‘business page’ in the daily. But, it they have a business newspaper, magazine or are e-publishing, they can utilize business content and business writing talent across multiple platforms. It’s a win-win,” in PC&A’s opinion, she added.

“We have solid numbers to outline how to build and sustain this critical niche strategy which takes a very different approach from a print daily, or even the conventional weekly,” Phelps explained.  .

“Frank Daniels III was publisher of Business North Carolina from 1987-89. The magazine initially reported to Jack Andrews, who was the N&O’s vice president for subsidiaries. Lee Dirks brokered the sale of the company – including the magazine – to the Sacramento, Calif.-based McClatchy newspaper chain in 1995,” reports SNPA.

“We want to build a franchise around him,” Woronoff said of Ben Kinney. “His charge is to grow the business, and we’re going to give him the tools to do that. We think he’s a first-rate media executive who has what it takes to take Business North Carolina to new heights.”

Here’s a link to SNPA’s complete story which was written by The Pilot’s staff:   http://snpa.org/stories/The-Pilot,80721