How the Banner Was Built: Inside the Creation of Baltimore’s New Nonprofit Newsroom

July 6, 2022

The article below originally appeared on The Lenfest Institute on July 6, 2022. The full article can be found here

The Lenfest Institute advised The Baltimore Banner on revenue strategies, organizational structure, and more in advance of its launch.

The Baltimore Banner, a multi-platform nonprofit news organization established by The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism and funded by philanthropist Stewart Bainum Jr., officially launched on June 14.  

The Banner has spent the past few months gearing up for this launch by hiring staff, acquiring an office space in downtown Baltimore, starting a newsletter, and announcing a collaboration with public radio station WYPR, to develop joint programming. 

They have ambitious goals. The Banner already has a newsroom of about 40 people, with plans to grow to more than 100. Its target is to attract 100,000 paying subscribers and 5 million monthly unique visitors to its website by 2025 in order to break even. 

The Lenfest Institute is proud to have served as an advisor to Bainum and the Venetoulis Institute as they developed plans for and launched the Banner. Through Lenfest Advisory Services, a strategic consulting service, the Institute works with news organizations around the country to identify sustainable business models and best practices. 

The Lenfest Institute’s CEO and Executive Director Jim Friedlich and Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations Ken Herts spoke with us about their work advising the Banner team, and they shared insights into their revenue and subscription strategies. 

This article was originally published on The Lenfest Institute by Hayley Slusser and Joseph Lichterman. Find the full conversation here.

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