Deanna Fox serves as senior vice president, of underwriting, product and partnerships at Connecticut Public overseeing underwriting sales, commercial partnerships as well the development of commercial digital products.
Fox has worked for over 20 years with local media organizations, focusing on digital products and innovation. She has held previous positions with The Philadelphia Inquirer as SVP of sales, and Gannett, where she was one of the first digital leaders for a local market. She also oversaw sales for Advance Communications, Digital First Media and Calkins Media, where she helped launch the first streaming channel for a local print media organization in the U.S.
Fox embarked on her media career after attending Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, and majoring in accounting. As a new board member for Local Media Association in 2022, we asked her five questions about the state of the industry and media transformation.
How has the local media industry transformed since you began working in it?
It’s changed in every way. I’ve been part of the media industry since the mid-’90s. I was excited to embrace the changes in the disruptive journey of web/digital/social — the business model broke, the advertising model evolved, the subscriber evolution from print to digital — so much transformation over my career and more in years to come.
What initiatives or areas of focus do you think will positively impact your organization’s future?
As a public media outlet, we see an ongoing positive impact in memberships — with over 50% of our members being sustaining members — and philanthropy.
In addition, our focus on serving the entire state is opening up new audiences, members, and sponsors. We have added to our content and geographic coverage but we are also marketing our brand in a meaningful way, and importantly, outside of just our products.
What is the biggest challenge facing the local media industry today?
This answer could go several ways, there are many. Beyond the obvious of finding your audience and delivering value, the business model remains challenging to fund the coverage. Subscription saturation is something we are going to have to watch closely since research indicates that the number of subscriptions to a media outlet remains low — some as low as one subscription.
What do you think is the biggest opportunity for the local media industry?
We have the best storytellers. Are you putting the same story out in multiple ways? We need to master the mediums. A great story in a medium that I don’t use/watch/read/listen to is a missed opportunity for me to become a supporter or subscriber. There is so much content for people, that I would argue that we don’t need more. We would benefit from being masters of getting the storytelling in as many formats as possible — with all the work that it entails — to really use that medium in the most compelling way.
Why are you excited to join the LMA/LMF board of directors?
I’m looking forward to learning from the board. I’m hopeful that my experience can meaningfully contribute to the mission.