Rick OConner update

Rick O’Connor

Chief executive office and president, Black press ltd.

N&T: What tech trend are you watching for 2019?

The practical use of AI in our industry. I believe the use of AI will grow this year and useful applications will begin to emerge

N&T: What's your biggest business prediction for 2019?

I see significant revenue growth in two areas. First, with video, both in terms of internet and out of home and second with more “face-to-face” (events, both commercial and reader-oriented) type of advertising. I also see print starting to flatten out, particularly at the local level, because it still works as an advertising medium, done properly with effective circulation

N&T: What regulatory or government moves interest you?

In Canada, the federal government has established a fund that is based on tax credits for editorial wage expenditures for news media organizations. While the details have yet to be put in place, this has signifi cance for most journalism-based organizations such as ours. We had originally lobbied as an industry to create a level taxation playing fi eld with companies such as Facebook and Google, who receive favorable treatment compared to established Canadian companies. However, the evolution of this fund will have positive signifi cance to Canadian news media companies and assist in the improvement of the business model.

N&T: How do you see media's evolution with social media in the near future?

Certainly we are paying more attention to the use of social media and are incorporating dedicated positions within our staffing structure this year, both in terms of influencing the outcome of advertising campaigns as well as alerting more social media users to our content. Additionally, we are using social media to attract more people to participate in our face- to-face events


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