Q: You’ve been here one year and one month. What were your impressions of the Times Free Press when you arrived?
JASON TAYLOR: I think we’ve always been a good newspaper with good editorial — a good strong balanced paper with a lot of great features which really represents the community well. Over the past year, we’ve taken advantage of our synergies more, our departments work better together, we have more of a strategic plan on how to not only survive in tough times but thrive and reach new people. And as a group collectively, our department heads and their subordinates have come up with a road map for our success in years to come. That’s some of what we were probably missing over the last several years was a strategic plan on how to grow audience across all platforms.
Q: We’ve extensively gone into multimedia. Why is that important to our audience?
MR. TAYLOR: Our goal is to provide information to the entire community in whatever way they want to receive it. We have the
investment of the largest news gathering resource in a couple hundred miles in each direction.
There is no other news gathering source that will cover this area like we do. What we have to do is figure out the way they want it.
Q: Do you see print having a dynamic platform?
MR. TAYLOR: I do. I get fired up on this one. There is an intimacy, if you will, that exists with a person and their newspaper that is not going to go away. We saw that with Obama when he won the election. People didn’t go download their front page and put it in a safe. They went and bought newspapers. Yes, that’s a big historical event and a piece of history, but every day we provide a written piece of history.... There’s a credibility with putting it into print that is unique.
Q:The newspaper and media business has been hit by the economy like other businesses. What’s the newspaper business going to look like on the other side of the recession?
MR. TAYLOR: I believe a lot of our main traditional categories may not return as before. ... Real estate looks like an area of business we can continue to grow if we provide Realtors and buyers with better experiences. That’s what we have to do with our online platforms and our print platforms. People will still use the print to buy cars, houses, and look for a job, if we continue to design our products in ways that make it easier on the reader.
Our job is now, and in working with the department heads, is trying to figure out ways to do business with us easier.
— Compiled by Mike Pare
Video: Growth at the Times Free PressChattanooga Times Free Press President and General Manager Jason Taylor discusses the newspaper 10 years after the city's two papers merged. Mr. Taylor also addresses the different platforms the Times Free Press uses to deliver news.