New efforts will enable audience growth and deeper engagement

(September 8, 2023) — Adriana Lacy, an award-winning journalist and consultant, has signed on to work with the 26 Black-owned local news organizations in the Knight x LMA BloomLab, focusing on strategies for digital audience development and engagement.

Lacy’s consulting will include reviews of each publication’s content, product and audience strategies; strategic listening sessions with key community stakeholders; and strategy development across content and product lines for audience growth and digital transformation. The work will culminate in custom strategy recommendations presented to each organization, as well as an industry playbook to be released in June 2024, identifying common challenges and potential solutions for other news organizations. The program is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

The BloomLab itself, a three-year immersive experience focused on long-term sustainability and independence for Black-owned publications, was launched in 2022 thanks to $3.2 million in funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Local Media Association to amplify and innovate the strategies of its Knight x LMA BloomLab program,” said Lacy. “Together, we aim to drive digital transformation and strengthen connections with audiences across all 26 organizations.

“Our aim is not only to elevate individual organizations but to harness collective insights and create an industry playbook. This will serve as a beacon for other newsrooms navigating the digital space, offering solutions to common challenges and avenues for growth,” she said.  

Lacy is an award-winning journalist and consultant based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the founder and chief executive officer of Adriana Lacy Consulting, a highly successful digital consulting firm that specializes in helping publishers and businesses expand their digital audiences. She is also an esteemed adjunct lecturer in the journalism department at Brandeis University.

With a wealth of experience at prominent media outlets such as Axios, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, Lacy’s expertise and dedication to innovation have earned her a reputation as a respected figure in the industry. Her academic background includes two bachelor’s degrees from Penn State University in African American Studies and Journalism, as well as a master’s of science in Digital Audience Strategy with distinction from Arizona State University.

“Over the first 18 months we focused heavily on technology upgrades and revenue growth,” said John Celestand, program director, Knight x LMA BloomLab. “Cohort 1 is now ready to take on strategies that will significantly increase audience reach and engagement, with Cohort 2 not far behind them. We are thrilled to have Adriana Lacy join the team to help us with this important pillar of the Knight x LMA BloomLab.”

The Knight x LMA BloomLab is a three-year immersive experience with 26 Black-owned local media outlets, with initial funding of $3.2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The participating organizations receive technology grants of $50,000, along with three dedicated full-time coaches to assist with sales/marketing, culture and integrating new technology. 

About Local Media Association / Local Media Foundation

Local Media Association brings all media together to share, network, collaborate and more. More than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital pure-plays, and research and development partners engage with LMA as members or constituents of our programs. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, LMA is focused on the business side of local media. Its programs and labs focus on revenue growth and new business models. LMA helps local media companies develop their strategies via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research and training.

Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable trust, serves as the innovation and transformation affiliate of LMA. Incorporating our four strategic pillarsbusiness transformation, journalism funded by philanthropy, industry collaboration, and sustainability for publishers of color — LMF helps provide local media companies the strategies and resources for meaningful innovation and impactful journalism projects.