A report developed for the Local Media Association’s 2018 strategic planning outlines a significant disconnect between CEOs and digital leaders showing very clearly that many media companies are slow to digital transformation. The report is being released today. Click here to download.

The report includes highlights of surveys with 200 local media leaders which were conducted in preparation for LMA’s own strategic planning. The surveys and conversations focused on top challenges, pain points and where investments within the organization should be made. The organization conducted phone interviews with dozens of CEOs, in-person focus groups with 19 vice presidents of digital, online surveys from 130 publishers and TV/radio station managers and survey results from the research and development community.

And the results are startling. Some of the key findings:

  • CEOs are frustrated that their investments in digital have not paid off like they had envisioned and are questioning the margins digital is providing their company.
  • Those who lead digital teams say they are not well supported from their CEO and don’t believe their organization’s top leaders are willing to accept the runway required to start new business units. They say their success is connected to local leaders who are not always able to execute.
  • Local leaders are overwhelmed with their workload and don’t believe their sales teams are adequately staffed.

All three groups did agree on something. Recruitment, retention and training of digital talent is a huge issue.

“This is an unhealthy situation,” said Nancy Lane, President of LMA. “VPs of Digital are spinning their wheels. Many CEOs are not able to focus past the next quarter, which makes it difficult to invest in the long term. Local leaders are largely compensated on reaching goals that remain tied to the core business. No one is really at fault here as the company goals are not aligned. We have to take steps to address these issues and accelerate digital transformation.”

LMA has outlined a variety of steps in this report that media companies could take to start addressing this wide gap including measuring employee net promoter scores, agreeing on clear metrics and locking in on the most important products and agreeing on needed resources and profit goals for those products.

LMA will be hosting webinars and conference sessions dedicated to these topics. This report will be sent to local media CEOs and other senior-level executives.

There will be a webinar Monday, Feb. 5 at 3:00 EST to discuss the top findings of the report and key takeaways. Register here.