WCPO digital builds its news team

By Kathleen Williams

Second of two parts

Our members-only meeting with WCPO’s digital leadership team March 25 gave us a chance to be introduced to Editor-in-Chief Mike Canan and find out a bit more about WCPO’s digital news team.

About two years ago, those in the news and PR business paid attention as WCPO began hiring primarily print reporters to develop its own in-depth digital news team, providing more head-to-head competition with the Cincinnati Enquirer as well as the weekly Business Courier.

Kathleen Williams is communications coordinator and PIO for Clermont County.

Kathleen Williams is communications coordinator and PIO for Clermont County.

“We’ve built an entire digital newsroom within a TV station,” noted brand marketing manager Erin Flynn. About 30 staffers are focused on producing digital content, much of it in-depth and behind a paywall.

After much research WCPO has identified 7 topic areas that they intend to own – and, in their own words, win – Tri-State life, education, arts & entertainment, business, government & politics, crime & justice, and transportation & development. “You’ll see something on each of these topics every day,” said Mike. WCPO has a team of about 10 reporters on these beats, and is building a network of freelancers and bloggers.

Unlike some news paywalls, such as the Enquirer’s, that allow users several free articles a month, the paywall at WCPO is a hard and fast one – you need to subscribe to get the best, exclusive content. Public safety news and what Mike terms “commodity news” – news that every other outlet also has — is available to everyone. In addition to invitations and tickets to special events, members get a weekly Insiders newsletter that offers that week’s best content.

Erin says that ESPN Insider is a model for the WCPO team as it goes forward.

In the meantime, if you’re confused about whom to pitch a story to – TV reporter or digital reporter or both – Mike says you can shoot him an email – mike.canan@wcpo.com.

WCPO digital reporters, beats and emails:

Dan Monk, business reporter, dan.monk@wcpo.com

Lucy May, lifestyle, lucy.may@wcpo.com

Lisa Bernard-Kuhn, transportation and development, lisa.bernard-kuhn@wcpo.com

Mark Nichols, data specialist, mark.nichols@wcpo.com

Taylor Mirfendereski, public safety and justice, taylor.mirfendereski@wcpo.com

Tasha Stewart, entertainment editor, tasha.stewart@wcpo.com

Bob Driehaus, education, bob.driehaus@wcpo.com

Jessica Noll, lifestyle, jessica.noll-korczyk@wcpo.com

Emily Maxwell, photojournalist, emily.maxwell@wcpo.com