I’ve never written a thank you note to a half million people before.
But I’m going to do that right now: Thank you for being here.
If you’d told me when I left my last television gig, after 25 years in broadcasting, that we’d build our own audience of a half million in four years, I’d have said, you're crazy.
It’s beyond my wildest expectations.
But it’s where we are. In a given month, BringMeTheNews sees a half million “unique” individuals -- almost all of them in Minnesota -- coming to our website. We also have about a half million people listening to us on the radio each week.
Not that we’re accustomed to thinking in the aggregate. In all the years I’ve been in the news business, I’ve always thought of my work as simply talking to “a person,” to you.
But I’m not gonna lie! There’s something that comes with the number 500,000. That just seems BIG. Particularly when you’re a little shop like ours.
Five hundred thousand people would fill the Metrodome + TCF Bank Stadium + Target Field + the Target Center + the Xcel.
And there’d still be another 40 thousand people in line for a seat! (I know I’m probably gonna get in trouble for that Lambeau reference. I’m just sayin’ it’s a crazy-big number).
It’s also a privilege. It’s humbling. And exciting.
Still, I can hear the words of my well-intentioned father when I got my first anchor gig years ago: “It’s one thing to get a job like that…it’s another thing to keep it.”
He’s right, of course. Such privileges are maintained only by winning day-to-day, over time.
I promise you -- to a person -- we are working very hard to do that.
The audience growth here has surprised even me. It’s quadrupled in the last year.
The share of you coming back multiple times a day is very strong.
And about half of you come by way of social media -- we have the most engaged social news audience in the state. A measureable fact.
There are many reasons for the growth.
The work ethic of our 30-person team is high.
We have extraordinary news producers and anchors recruited from every major news organization in the state.
And we’ve developed a strong management team from places like Pepsi, Burger King, TIME and Gannett.
Our growth also has a lot to do with our partners in the digital design and innovation business, GoKartLabs. That team executed our digital marketing campaign over this year (Note: My business partners and I have cross ownership interests in BringMeTheNews & GoKartLabs).
And of course, our sponsors have sustained us. Many of them have been with us for years. In fact, one of our sponsors became an investor last year, which says a lot for the sustainability of the model.
This starts to sound like “our story,” but the point here, of course, is that it’s yours.
There is no greater driver in our growth than our audience! Our success is directly tied to the value you place on this product.
The investment you’ve made here has been our greatest reward in the last year.
So, on behalf of all the teams at BringMeTheNews and GoKartLabs…Thank You!
Know that we’ll continue to work hard to make it even better in the year ahead.