The GNI Digital Subscriptions Lab, announced last week in partnership with Local Media Association and FTI Consulting, is an ambitious six-month program that will be laser-focused on finding a path forward for reader revenue strategies.

LMA announced the ten newspapers that were selected to participate in the Lab. They are: El Nuevo Día (GFR Media), The Baltimore Sun (Tribune), The Buffalo News (Berkshire Hathaway), The Columbus Dispatch (GateHouse Media), The Houston Chronicle (Hearst), The Idaho Press (Adams Publishing Group), The Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME), The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), The Southeast Missourian (Rust Communications) and The Toronto Star (Torstar).

Read comments from many of the CEOs, publishers, and other senior executives whose publications are participating in the GNI Digital Subscriptions Lab below.


Jon Rust, Publisher, Southeast Missourian & Co-President, Rust Communications


“We’re thrilled to be selected. Digital subscriptions are the key to our future, and this initiative supercharges the effort for newspapers outside the largest in the country, including small ones like us [the Southeast Missourian]. We believe profit is like oxygen, and we’ve got to have it to live. But we don’t live just to breathe. Our mission covering local communities with original journalism is bigger than that. Building a new business model that supports community journalism in a world of digital reliance would be like developing oxygen on Mars. The Google News Initiative Digital Subscriptions Lab is an important and exciting step in that direction.”




P.J. Browning, Publisher, Charleston Post and Courier


“We feel very fortunate to participate in this program.  Like other news organizations, we work hard every day to grow our subscribers. Digital subscriptions require a lot of knowledge around individual habits, digital usage and producing strong local journalism that people are willing to pay for. Having Google, LMA and FTI Consulting’s knowledge and leadership guiding this project is significant and will project us forward, faster.”




Kirk Davis, CEO, GateHouse Media


“We are thrilled to be among a select group of publishing companies earning inclusion in the Google Subscriptions Lab initiative. This opportunity paves the way for us to work with Google, FTI Consulting, and Local Media Association (LMA) in advancing our expertise in applying data, content, technology, and marketing strategies to optimize our digital subscription path. Developing a thriving digital model to showcase the amazing work being done by our journalists across the United States is vital to preserving the vitality and viability of our local journalism.”




Lisa DeSisto, CEO, Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram


“The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram is thrilled to participate in the GNI Subscription Lab. In the last year, we saw our circulation revenue eclipse ad revenue and digital subscriptions outpace single copy sales. We love our print subscribers and will continue to deliver an incredible product to them while at the same time get smarter, faster and more strategic in attaining and retaining digital subscriber. We are eager to learn and implement the best practices we’ll gain in the Lab. Let’s go!”




Warren T. Colville, Publisher and President, The Buffalo News


“This effort will give us access to tremendous resources as well as insights from peers at other participating newspapers. I expect it to be a significant boost to our work creating a digital-subscription business that supports our journalism for years to come.”






John Boynton, President and CEO, Torstar Corporation


“Torstar is very pleased to participate in the Digital Subscription Lab. We look forward to collaborating with our peers so that we can all develop a strong and sustainable future for journalism.”







Mark Adams, CEO, Adams Publishing Group


“Adams Publishing is committed to serving our market audiences through our print and digital platforms, and the opportunity to participate in this project will not only serve our company but also all of our communities.”






Juan Mario Alvarez, CEO, GFR Media, LLC


“We feel fortunate and honored to collaborate with other publishers through GNI’s Digital Subs Lab and tackle some of the challenges faced by journalism today. Puerto Rico’s microcosm is an ideal testbed to experiment with revenue pressures that are different from those faced by national players. Our industry’s survival depends on laying the ground for digital subscriptions and we’re excited to be part of this transformation.”






GNI Digital Subscriptions Lab in the news…

The Buffalo News selected for Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab (The Buffalo News)

Post and Courier selected to participate in Google news project (The Post and Courier)

Southeast Missourian to work with Google, other select papers on subscriptions project (Southeast Missourian)

Star chosen as only Canadian partner in Google journalism research project (The Star)

LMA Announces Ten Newspaper Partners for GNI Digital Subscriptions Lab (Editor & Publisher)

GateHouse to partner with Google News on digital subscriptions (Dan Kennedy)

Press Herald will get a strategy assist from Google (Portland Press Herald)

The Baltimore Sun chosen to participate in Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab (The Baltimore Sun)

With growing online audience, Dispatch joins subscription initiative (The Columbus Dispatch)

El Nuevo Día es elegido por Google para participar de un programa de innovación digital (El Nuevo Día)