Saving the Dying Community Newspaper: Serial Entrepreneur Has Solution. Long-Time News Buff Remains Ahead of Curve, Creates 540 Online Newspapers; Franchise Opportunity
CUMMING, GA (April 15, 2009) – Rocky Mountain News: Gone. Baltimore Examiner: Gone. Cincinnati Post: Gone. The list goes on to include more than 140 newspapers that have closed its doors since the economic climate turned from a drizzle to a thunderstorm. Despite the ongoing demise of our beloved newspapers, the news must go on – especially for communities that count on the media to promote their lives and businesses, and for the devoted reporters who deliver the news.
Rather than dwelling on the fact that his favorite newspapers have vanished, serial entrepreneur Paul Baron relished in the ability to create what’s next for the future of journalism. Just as he did with telemarketing, mass-communication advancements, and even a popular New York restaurant, Baron has always thrived on taking a challenge and building a solution. Thus, Baron has revived the news with more than 500 online community newspapers where journalists can become the publisher and can continue to deliver the news.
“When we started this project more than a year ago, we knew the news had to go on, but the question was where?” Baron asked. “Every entrepreneur thrives on the hunt for the next big thing – I am confident we anticipated the future of the community newspaper when we started this project in 2003, well before the Seattle Post-Intelligencer announced it had died and gone to online.”
While HomeTownTimes.com and its community publications are designed to deliver community specific news, online, in communities around the country, perhaps more importantly it is also designed as a solution to the thousands of journalists who have lost their jobs. And for those about to lose their jobs. The HomeTownTimes.com network already includes three franchisees – CummingHome.com; NorthFultonTimes.com; DawsonTimes.com.
“Many of my close reporter friends are losing their jobs and wondering what to do next. Many franchise systems capture laid off executives but most don’t go after a specific demographic,” Baron said, noting that he made the HomeTownTimes.com franchise opportunity cost effective so that journalists could afford the chance to venture into independent business ownership.
The ideal candidate, Baron said, is someone with either journalism, publishing, or ad sales experience, who is driven, understands news culture, and is dedicated to promoting the growth of their community through a interactive communication tool that connects businesses and neighbors. While Baron said he and his experienced franchise team are being extremely selective with potential franchisees to maintain the integrity of news journalism, he has kept the transition affordable with a franchise fee under $5,000. and total start-up costs kept at a minimal.
“Journalists and executives, alike, are scared about the future of their jobs. Confidence must be restored to both the industry and communities they serve,” Baron said. “Our ability to stay well ahead of the newspaper closings lends credibility to the strength of our vision and experienced franchise business team. We see newspapers aren’t standing up to, nor taking full advantage of new technologies and we believe we have gripped and present what’s next.”
When a candidate is awarded a HomeTownTimes.com community paper franchise, they are given innovative tools to strengthen local readership, attract new advertisers with creative marketing strategies, provide opportunities for interactive communications, and the tools to deliver relevant local stories. Baron has put to test his strong background in computer programming and target marketing by creating what he labels “what’s next” for print journalism and community ties.
“I have spent my entire career taking a problem and creating a solution. The prospect of the end of newspapers as we know it is a problem. Before now, there wasn’t much of a solution,” Baron said. “The more we grow, the more connected we will be and want to be to the future of journalism and our communities. There is no way I am going to let the world of newspapers and the information they provide disappear from local communities that want to be in touch and are not being served by regional and national publications. Hometowntimes.com is going to ensure that communication and connectivity between citizens and businesses will be maintained and enhanced with available solutions. We found the formula”
HomeTownTimes.com is a national online news and community publications franchise, currently operating more than 500 internet-based news sites across the United States. The mission of the Georgia-headquartered business is to bring local communities together via a convenient portal that provides free access to local news, information exchange, community forums and advertising. Each individual community’s HomeTownTimes.com is a community hub for home town events, Internet forums, classified ads, business directories, photo galleries, sports, health news, coupons and feature stories about local events, people and businesses. Independent small businesses, large franchisors, and companies with a national footprint will all find their hyper-local targeted audience for their products or services through HomeTownTimes.com ad placements, videos, original content articles of interest, and news of local events associated with their business. Franchise opportunities are available in every state and county throughout the USA.
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