Joins hundreds of local publications nationwide in diversifying revenue streams to provide free community news and information
Founded in 2018 by Mark Fleischer as a sole proprietorship LLC, StoryBoard Memphis, the community- and culturally-focused digital and print publication is making the transition to not-for-profit. This transition means that the publication is ready to take the next steps to provide more of the community, cultural, historical and local arts coverage to that readers have come to enjoy and rely on.
“It’s a volatile environment out there,” said Fleischer. “Hundreds of publications, both in print and digital-only, are looking for new ways to reach their audience and discover diverse revenue streams as traditional advertising continues to disappear. StoryBoard can’t survive unless we make these changes.”
What began as a blog focused on Memphis discoveries and local history, Storyboard Memphis has grown to attract more than 5,000 monthly readers online and over 30,000 in print. With StoryBoard 30 on FM 89.3, it has also evolved to include radio and podcasts attracting another 40,000+ listeners each month.
“StoryBoard is above all about community,” says Fleischer. “It’s about our neighborhoods, our local community leaders, the businesses and institutions we love, about all the hard-working Memphians who are so passionate about our city. It’s the Memphis story. It’s our story.”
Across the country, as the digital divide continues and paid local papers disappear, many communities are seeing huge increases in the demand for free print publications. In fact, many free publications have increased their print distribution three to four times what they were just five years ago.
Traditional advertising does not pay the bills anymore. That means more sponsors, more subscribers, more donors willing to keep the lights on and the presses going.
“But we need the community’s help,” said Fleischer. “It’s no secret that today’s environment in local newspapers nationwide has reached a crisis point. For us, in order to sustain any kind of community-wide communications, we need more funding.”
Look for more news from StoryBoard, and its return to print in the weeks ahead, right here at StoryBoard Memphis.
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