LIN Sees Digital Media As Key To Its Future
LIN Media is keeping the digital future squarely in its sites, with porting its content to all platforms one of the company's prime goals for the near future.
"Our digital media evolution has been something we've been pretty proud of," Vincent Sadusky, LIN's president-CEO, said during a session at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Tuesday. "We think it's been a pretty good differentiator there's been real growth here both from the topline, from a profitability perspective and as a commitment."
Sadusky said the company has adopted a digital mindset and has gone from about 40 employees dedicated to digital full time in 2007 to close to 300 today.
“You can only really make progress if you’re willing to transform the business and bring in some people that have real expertise in an area that historically has been not that high in terms of familiarity and skill set for a traditional television company,” he said.
Sadusky added that one of the big advantages of digital is being able to reach viewers when they are outside the home and have that consumption supplement sitting on the couch watching television. “We want to be able to exploit our content in ways that follow the way people are going about their days.”
He said the challenge is coupling that with marketing services. “How do we go beyond selling television spots and sponsorships on air?” he said. “We’ve got to be able to participate in that very high-growth segment of the marketing world.”
As part of that effort, LIN last month launched LIN Mobile, a new marketing company designed to deliver targeted and localized media across all dominant mobile devices. At the time, the company said the venture “furthers the company’s goal to be advertisers' preferred choice for multiplatform marketing opportunities and provide its customers with a unified digital media strategy.”
Overall, Sadusky said the company’s legacy television business, along with its growing digital efforts has it well placed for the future. “We feel like that’s a very good place to be,” he said. “We feel like that’s something consumers continue to enjoy, continue to spend a lot of time with — both on air and online — and something that advertisers continue to value very significantly.”
On the TV side, Sadusky said that while this year’s political campaigns drove plenty of ad dollars into the company’s coffers, its core revenue was up despite the political displacement. And he expects it to remain strong: “In the post-political world, there’s pent-up demand from advertisers who sat on the sidelines and are going to come back.”