@ UBS Media Week: Gannett Emphasizes Reader Interaction As Its Newspapers Evolve

If you’re an online newspaper and you want to attract younger demos, it’s best not to resemble a newspaper too closely, said Sue Clark-Johnson, president of the newspaper division at Gannett. Speaking with other Gannett (NYSE: GCI) executives, including Craig Dubow, chairman, president and CEO, at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference, the company offered the Arizona Republic’s revamped website, AZCentral, as an example. She and Dubrow described the site as a hyperlocal/citizen journalism site with a broader social networking component. The site and other local sites will be given additional social net support through Gannett’s recent controlling interest it acquired in Schedule Star, which runs athletic community site HighSchoolSports.net.

Dubrow and co. used the rest of the hour to highlight relatively positive Fas-FAX circulation numbers for USA Today from last month, as well as its quest to create a national online video network that will let Gannett better organize and sell ads for its content across its various regional properties.