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Alisa CromerPublisher and editor Alisa Cromer of San Jose, Calif., wants to build a new kind of trade journal that uses emerging peer-sharing concepts to give business executives at news organizations the actionable ideas, tools and partners they need to survive and flourish.

“Local news media are living through a disruptive era in which they need to find solutions, partners and best practices quickly in a downsized, rapidly changing environment,” said Cromer. “Traditional trade journals focus on news. Ours is laser-focused on actionable best tactics, tools, and technology resources from around the country.”

One of Cromer’s mentors is Anne Holland, founder of Marketing Sherpa, a membership site that helps thousands of marketing professionals become better at their craft.

“Why not do the same for local media executives whose success has so much at stake for the country?” said Cromer.

Cromer is pursuing a year-long research fellowship at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) located at the Missouri School of Journalism on the University of Missouri campus.

Her goal is to create a trade journal that works with subscribers and trade associations to facilitate structured peer-sharing. A key area of peer-sharing is technology partners.

“Media companies need somewhere between 30 and more than 100 technology tools and partnerships to thrive as digital information providers,” said Cromer. “But ‘vendors’ are typically allocated to the ballroom of conferences, instead of elevated as a critical element of financial success. We need new ways to match up technology partners with large and small media. This is the critical task of our industry today.”

Cromer’s goal is to launch media technology referral network while at RJI.

“When it’s launched and if we succeed, it will be the best directory of technology partners for media that exists today,” she said. “Because it will be a referral network.”


After graduating from Oberlin College in 1982 with a degree in political economics, Cromer began her career in 1984 as founder and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Business Press, a Nevada-based group of city weeklies, including Las Vegas Business Press and CityLife.

From 1996 until 2001, Cromer was a publisher for Orlando Weekly, owned by Alternative Media Inc.

In January 2001, she became chief operating officer of Metro Publishing Inc., which includes a group of alternative weekly newspapers and 22 of the top U.S. sites and As COO, she struggled to find trade journals that provided sufficient information about technology partners.

“I saw a lot of feature stories and press releases but I couldn’t get actionable, field-tested information on what worked to grow digital revenues and technology partners that could help,” she said. “Today, trade journals are getting better and associations are getting better at providing information on digital models, but we are dedicated to a single premise, and started from scratch to create a new kind of media trade journal geared toward executives deeply engaged in media transition.”

LocalMediaInsideIn 2010, she launched, which provides actionable tactics and strategies from field-tested case studies.

The model was incomplete without a vendor referral network, and an integrated ad campaign library that the new digital sales force could use. This inspired her to pursue a fellowship at RJI.

“I’m really interested in how media can solve new problems,” she said. “It’s really exciting for me to be in a place where you’re allowed to think about different options for solving different problems without having to execute immediately.”

Having extra time to work on this project can be the difference between success and failure, said Cromer.

For more information, click here.

Jennifer Nelson  
Senior Information Specialist


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