Jeff Moriarty recently joined the Local Media Association Board of Directors. His current role is chief product officer of Nexstar Digital. He was appointed in January 2021. He leads product development initiatives across the company’s local network of sites and apps, The Hill, and NewsNation Digital.

He previously led digital products and businesses at some of the largest media companies in the U.S. and Europe, including The New York Times Co., JPIMedia and Gannett. He joined Nexstar from Gannett, where he was senior vice president for consumer products, leading digital initiatives across Gannett’s local and national platforms including USA Today. Jeff shared his thoughts on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the local media industry.

How has the local media industry transformed since you started working in it?

Jeff Moriarty

I have been involved in local media since the early days of the web, with a front-row seat as local media has evolved to meet the challenges of disintermediation by new platforms. Almost everything about how we reach our audiences is totally different from when I started in digital in the ‘90s. I think what has not changed is our readers and viewers needing trusted information about what’s going on in their community, and there is nothing more important than offering honest and unbiased journalism to them.

What initiatives or areas of focus do you think will have the most positive impact on your organization’s future?

As trusted content providers in our communities, providing our viewers with unique video reports across all platforms, in all forms, will continue to be critical. We need great digital products to highlight our unique content, and that’s what I’m focused on.

What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities in the local media industry today?

As it relates to local broadcasters, I think it is an opportunity to find new audiences on streaming platforms, through connected TV apps and FAST channels — and finding the right speed at which to pursue those. For cord-cutters and “cord-nevers,” we need to be where they are to introduce them to our brands, and bring them to our other platforms.

Why are you excited to join the LMA board of directors?

With LMA’s mix of broadcast, newspaper and independent publishers, I’m excited to spend time talking about how everyone is solving these problems. And I hope that LMA can be a source of unified technical and product know-how that can help influence Google and other platforms’ products for the benefit of local media.