Galveston County Daily News Publisher Patrick Graham was the featured speaker at Monday's meeting of the University Area Association. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
Graham reviewed the new design of the newspaper and also stressed the importance of shopping and doing business locally.
“When you spend a dollar locally, that’s going to turn over about four times in the economy, because you are spending it with someone who owns a business locally, someone who has employees locally and you are also supporting the tax base locally,” he said. “So that dollar is going to turn over, because it is going to be spent again and again at least four different times.”
Graham said the redesign of the newspaper has been to increase the amount of local content.
“If you look at the paper now compared to before we launched the redesign you are going to find a lot less wire copy, a lot less Associated Press copy in there,” he said. “We still have our national and international briefs on Page 2, obviously we still have some sports coverage of the pro teams in Houston, some of the college teams; but for the most part all of our copy throughout the paper is local now compared to in the past.”
Graham also discussed the distribution of the newspaper in Galveston County.
“For the first time ever we actually have more subscribers on the mainland than on the island,” Graham said, noting that about 60 percent of the total homes with subscribers are on the mainland, with 40 percent on the island, but he said there are more subscribers in Galveston than in any particular mainland city. “Our base really is still on the island.”
He also discussed the impact of the Internet on the Daily News and newspapers in general.
“I get a lot of people asking, ‘is the Internet going to be the end of newspapers?’, and my answer to that is always ‘no’,” he said. “The Internet actually, in some ways, has made newspapers even better already in terms of our ability to immediately inform our readers of something going on that they need to know.”
The University Area Association meeting was at the William Temple Episcopal Center at 427 Market Street, but starting in March, the group will begin meeting in the University of Texas Medical Branch's Primary Care Pavilion.