At an industry gathering last year, Larry Lee, publisher of The Sacramento Observer (a Black newspaper founded 60 years ago by his father), shared that his organization went from fewer than four full-time employees to 14 in just 16 months. The gathering, hosted by the Knight Foundation, was focused on sustainability. Attendees stood and clapped. I had tears in my eyes. Everyone wanted to know how he did it.
Larry and The Observer team took advantage of industry labs, accelerators and collaborations. As a participant in the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding, The Observer raised six figures to support the hiring of new journalists. Thanks to the learnings of the Knight x LMA BloomLab, The Observer grew overall revenue by 38% in 2022. Through Word In Black, the team grew digital revenue with branded content campaigns and more.
At LMA, we are focused on impact. During 2022, we consulted with hundreds of media companies on their business transformation strategies and distributed $4.46 million directly back to those companies.
This report showcases many of our programs and initiatives, such as:
- Word In Black: A digital startup like no other, this site is experiencing explosive growth and is leading the way on solutions to racial inequities in America.
- LMA Lab for Journalism Funding: More than $17 million raised for journalism projects from five cohorts over two years.
- Meta Branded Content Project: $80 million has been generated since the program’s inception.
We’re proud to share this 2022 Impact Report and excited about our plans for 2023. We hope you will find ways to engage, partner and work with us as we remain intensely focused on reinventing business models for news.
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