Kenny Katzgrau, majority owner of redbankgreen and founder of Broadstreet, shares his vision for revitalizing community journalism. He discusses strategies to  help hyperlocal websites and small community weeklies thrive. 

Katzgrau’s approach involves enhancing advertising efficacy and community engagement through digital tools, advocating for news that not only informs but also engages and uplifts the community. He calls for a balance of serious journalism with elements of fun, suggesting that a vibrant local news outlet can profoundly impact its community by reflecting a broader, more inclusive view of news coverage.

Katzgrau provides very practical tips on making digital advertising work for local businesses and for long-term financial sustainability of news outlets.

Episode chapters:
(02:35) – From serving publishers to becoming one
(07:43) – Sustainable is not enough. How about prosperity?
(12:12) – Experimenting to serve advertisers
(15:47) – Recruiting the community to cover stories you can’t
(21:37) – The importance of fun in work
(24:54) – The importance of fun for readers
(28:32) – The business owner mindset vs. the reporter mindset
(31:12) – Advertising as telling the story of local businesses
(35:26) – Beyond CPM buy. Start with what you need.
(40:40) – Nurturing advertiser relationships and automating tasks
(44:08) – The Broadstreet ad manager platform
(49:11) – Rapid-fire questions

Listen to the episode here:

Links:

Bio:

Kenny KatzgrauKenny is the Publisher of RedBankGreen, an 18 year old online-only news outlet serving Red Bank, NJ. He's best known as the creator of Broadstreet, an alternative to Google Ad Manager that focuses on the needs of local news. He's an open source software developer, and prior to getting involved in local news and advertising, worked at Mozilla and Yahoo. He and his wife Katie met in high school, commuted to college, moved to Red Bank, and worked on Broadstreet together until the arrival of their two baseball-obsessed boys, Ken and Will, aged 4 and 2.

 

Full transcript:

(recorded via Riverside.fm; transcript automated via Castmagic.io, mostly unedited)

Kenny Katzgrau [00:00:00]: Like, yeah. Yeah. No. We get it. There's bad news. There's good news too. There's good stuff happening in this industry. And can we focus on some of the good? And so part of it was just breaking out of this. Like, you know, the word that bugs me the most, and I know it's like it oh, the word sustainable. Right? Because I don't want sustainability. I want prosperity for the industry. Like, I wanna change the way we think about it. We're not just talking about baseline survival. Let's talk about thriving into a new century. And, like, I know that it's all not figured out yet. We don't know what the model looks like, but we get to be pioneers and figure out what it looks like. And whether anybody ever remembers us or not, there's still something magical in that. 

Tim Regan-Porter [00:00:47]: Welcome to the Local News Matters podcast, where we explore pathways to stronger journalism, better businesses, and healthier communities. I'm Tim Regan-Porter, CEO of the Colorado Press Association.  

This episode, I talk with Kenny Katzgrau, the majority owner of redbankgreen and the founder of Broadstreet, an advertising platform designed for local publishers. Kenny's recent venture into owning a hyper-local news organization, coupled with his tech background, offers a unique perspective on the digital transformation of local news.  

I'm really excited about the conversation we had because it provides both inspiration and very practical advice for newsrooms grappling with making local news sustainable in the digital era. That’s a problem for even the most digitally adept newsrooms and sales teams, but it’s especially challenging for hyperlocal websites and small community weeklies.  

Kenny's journey from tech to local news ownership, his vision for RedBankGreen, and his insights from running Broadstreet provide a unique point of view with on-the-ground success. Whether you're well-versed in digital media economics or still figuring out how to make the digital leap financially viable, Kenny's story, tactics and strategies are sure to offer valuable takeaways. 

If you like this episode and what we're doing more generally, please follow in your favorite podcast app, leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts, and tell your friends about us. This is a side project and a labor of love, and your support means a lot. You can find past episodes, full transcripts, and relevant links, and sign up for our newsletter at localnewsmatterspodcast.com, or for lazy typists like me at lnmpod.com. You also follow us on most social media channels @lnmpod. 

And now I bring you Kenny Katzgrau of Broadstreet and redbankgreen. 

Alright. Welcome, Kenny, to the podcast. 

Katzgrau [00:02:33]: Hey. Thanks for having me, Tim. 

From serving publishers to becoming one 

Regan-Porter [00:02:35]: You originally got on my radar—though I'd started to see you pop up with LMA, and you did an Editor and Publisher podcast. And you had reached out to us around the time of the Colorado Press Association's convention and ended up sponsoring that. So thank you very much. And there's a disclaimer for the readers. And you had published a white paper. Would that be overstating? And published a piece on the 10 advantages for local publishers in response to a subpoena you got in the antitrust lawsuit with Google. So I think you got one from DOJ and Google. 

Regan-Porter [00:03:13]: And so reading into that and just seeing how you talk about local publishers really leaning into those advantages, I wanted to have you on. And your background is also fascinating to me as someone who came out of tech. That is your background as well and started Broadstreet, which is an advertising platform. And now you've become part owner, is it, in Red Bank? 

Katzgrau [00:03:12]: So I'm the majority owner. redbankgreen. So the publisher, after 17 long years of running a hyperlocal news organization, had been looking for a buyer and suggested to me that perhaps I would. And I said, absolutely not. No way in hell am I ever gonna get into that. And, well, time has its way of changing your perspective, and that's what I ended up doing almost exactly because I started to worry. Well, the previous publisher, John Ward, had built such a gem in Red Bank. 

Katzgrau [00:04:05]: And Red Bank, New Jersey, a small little town, like, little downtown. You'd never really hear of it outside of New Jersey, but it's really got something special. And John Ward had built something special that everyone kinda appreciated. And I started to worry, man, what if some political hack got his hands on this thing? And, so I was like, you know what? My stated vision is, how do I make this thing last for a hundred years? And I'm all about building things or attempting to build things that last. You know? I'm not doing anything with one-offs here. I wanna actually make some meaning and have an impact. So now I gotta figure out not just how to figure out, you know, the next year, the next five years. I gotta figure out how to last the next 83 years, to make that come to fruition. So let's see what happens. 

Regan-Porter [00:04:46]: Yeah. And is John still involved in Yeah. In the paper? 

Katzgrau [00:04:44]: Yeah. So we, so, John is because editorially, that's not my shtick. And, I tell people that I respect the profession of journalism too much to have any part in the editorial role. But John Ward is the publisher emeritus, and we just hired our first full-time reporter and soon-to-be editor, Brian Donahue, very well-known state-level reporter, formerly of News 12 and nj.com and, like, some of the really well known news organizations. And he became available, and I was like, when the right people—and anybody has been in business long enough, when the people become available, like, you jump. You do not wait for the perfect timing and all of that. So Brian joined the team, and, like, we couldn't be happier or luckier for that to happen. So, editorial's handled, and I'm handling all of the sales. 

Regan-Porter [00:05:40]: Great. So I wanna dig into all of that. And you had been consulting with John for a while. Is that right? 

Katzgrau [00:05:46]: Yeah. For about 10 years. You know, I think just a few minutes ago, we're talking about Webmaster. That was his name for it. So I had been, I was working at Yahoo, and I had just moved to Red Bank. And I was looking for ways to get involved, And my wife had, she saw a Twitter post that redbankgreen was looking for a new webmaster. I was like, you know, I'll get to know John over at redbankgreen. I met him at Starbucks and his old webmaster, really well known guy, Jim, in the area. Red Bank's a pretty close knit small town, only 10,000 people, but it's a lot of interesting people. It's a really interesting crowd here. Nobody's normal. Everyone's a little weird, which makes it great. But, helped out, John, kinda like a part time bassist, did my thing at Yahoo. And, eventually, what became Broadstreet emerged out of a necessity with an advertiser who's gonna cancel. So that like, what Broadstreet became actually started from a problem of John Ward. Every news publisher on the planet knows this one. Advertisers said, I do all my marketing on social media, and they were gonna cancel. And we turned that around, and that advertiser is still with us to this day, but that's how Broadstreet popped out of it. I didn't plan it. It just happened. 

Regan-Porter [00:06:58]: And, Red Bank's been around since, I think, 2006. It was one of the early hyperlocal online sites. 

Katzgrau [00:07:05]: Yeah. redbankgreen is, 2006, got its inspiration from Baristanet out of Montclair in Northern New Jersey, Debbie Galant, who started Baristanet. And then, you know, working with Liz George and Annette Batson, the team over there, they were the inspiration. New York Times did an article writing about it, and John Ward, who has recently recently departed the Asbury Park Press of the Star Ledger, just describes it like being hit like a bolt of lightning and just being like, I need to do this. I need to start something at Red Bank. And, since 2006, and, you know, it's a grind when you're a one person show, and there's a lot of those around the country. The one person show keeping the light lit in their community. 

Sustainable is not enough. How about prosperity? 

Regan-Porter [00:07:43]: Yeah. And it's not just, you know, digital hyperlocal sites. I think it has a lot of similarities with community weeklies that are, you know, family owned, and sometimes it's just the family putting out, you know, a physical newspaper and a website and doing all of that. So, you know, you've laid out your 100 year vision, and you really wanna see this succeed on a business level and make sure you're around serving the community for another century. That's a tall order for a hyperlocal site in a small community. So, how do you even think about approaching that? 

Katzgrau [00:08:16]: Well, you know, the thing is, I think the perception that it's a tall order, and I think, you know, everything is perception. But I wanted to make a statement that, like, we need to maybe change the storytelling around the news industry and that, like, everything's in decline. And I think the the story that we keep telling ourselves that, like, you know, we hear about the layoff at the LA Times and, like, yeah. Yeah. No. We get it. There's bad news. There's good news too. 

Katzgrau [00:08:44]: There's good stuff happening in this industry, and can we focus on some of the good? And so part of it was just breaking out of this. Like, you know, the word that bugs me the most, and I know it's like it oh, the word sustainable. Right? Because I don't want sustainability. I want prosperity for the industry. And, like, I wanna change the way we think about it. We're not just talking about baseline survival. Let's talk about thriving into a new century. And, like, I know that it's all not figured out yet. 

Katzgrau [00:09:13]: We don't know what the model looks like, but we get to be pioneers and figure out what it looks like. And whether anybody ever remembers us or not, there's still something magical in that. It's always difficult in the frontier, and I'm excited about the future. I think—and there are other people in this industry. I was just talking to one, John at Community Impact and talked to Jeff over at Village Media and, you know, a lot of, like, really smart people that wanna figure it out. Uriah down at Potomac Local, Howard, Dylan, you know, all those guys wanna figure it out. And, like, that's the kind of band we've got going forward. So 100 years was about, like, let's change the story here and think about the long game. 

Regan-Porter [00:09:52]: Absolutely. You know, and that story is so dominated by metro dailies, and it's a whole different ballgame when you're talking about hyperlocal sites and community newspapers, etcetera. You know, but, you were just talking about the one person shop, and your vision is building on that to become something much more. And you refer to, you wanna put together a team that is like Edison's Menlo Park. So talk a little bit about how do you grow it beyond one person. 

Katzgrau [00:10:18]: Right. Well, you know, I don't think it's gonna—well, my vision for redbankgreen isn't necessarily beyond like, I'm not talking about a bustling newsroom. My vision for it is probably one person who is full time in the editorial side. And, you know, it's gonna shift and change. You know, you have to reinvent yourself over time. But I think, initially, at least for the next 5 to 10 years, it's gonna be one person who's full time editorially, and then there's gonna be a group of, like, freelancers to take on some of the important but more time consuming items that maybe that full timer shouldn't be, shouldn't have their time allocated to. And then on the sales end, I will probably be doing that. I'm doing it right now. 

Katzgrau [00:11:01]: But I do have—I think once I've established what exactly we're doing for small businesses, which I already have a pretty good model, I think. It's pretty, like, 80% there. But something that works and is repeatable, then it's something I could potentially hand to someone else to execute for me. So I'd say, like, the staff is gonna be, like, five people or less. And for a town of 10,000, I think that's all that's alright. The most important thing is that we have a little bit of redundancy among the staff. So if the somebody needs to take a, you know, step back, that's possible. And importantly, that we've got enough money in the bank so that a rainy day doesn't put us out of business, or into debt, which, also historically having screwed up two, three businesses and had one that worked out well, meaning Broadstreet. 

Katzgrau [00:11:52]: Debt and obligations to other people's hands on the steering wheel is something I've avoided like the plague. Never raised money, thankfully. Never took on debt. Was always bootstrapped. It was a long road to get there, but being small, scrappy, and figuring it out is the way to do it. So in terms of staff, like, five people or less. 

Experimenting to serve advertisers 

Regan-Porter [00:12:12]: And in terms of your approach to experimenting, you know, that's something that Silicon Valley does really well. With your technology background. I imagine you have a very different approach than someone coming up through traditional ranks in publishing would have. So how are you thinking about that with redbankgreen? 

Katzgrau [00:12:30]: Yeah. You know what? I get a kick out of doing things that nobody's done before. And sometimes it's, you know, it's dumb stuff, and we do a lot of dumb stuff here. But, the thing is, like, if it's entertaining and it's fun and we think that other people are gonna find some value in it, then we do it. The other thing is I really think about from—like, at redbankgreen, our our approach to advertising is very different. And while the rest of the industry is really exploring, like, the nonprofit, like, philanthropic approach, I think there's really just—the advertising, I think we've given up on it too early, far too early. Because, like, the need for a business to market itself and connect, like, that's never gonna go away. It's been for thousands and thousands of years. 

Katzgrau [00:13:14]: Like, to the first people selling clay pots under a tent, you know, there was a need to tell people that you've got pots under the tent, those tents. And I don't think that Facebook or Google—I know they're the default now, but I don't think they're doing a particularly good job for marketers. And, but they have become the default. They've done a good job. Like, I went to local theater, and they said, well, we, yeah, we spend about, you know, $3,500 a month through Google and Facebook, and we do that through a local agency. And I asked them about the results, and they don't really have much insight into the results. They're just doing, like nobody gets fired for using Google and Facebook right now. But I have seen the doubt among small businesses that, like, their marketing budget is doing anything for any sort of lift for their business. 

Katzgrau [00:14:03]: And I feel inclined that if I'm gonna sell them anything as an alternative, that it's gotta be something that I would personally believe in. And when it comes to advertising right now, I don't think most publishers or most sales reps believe in their own advertising products. And I think that's why it's so abhorrent to them to even sell advertising. I think that they know it sucks. They know, and a lot of people ask me, and I know I'm discussing a few things right now, but a lot of people think I love digital advertising or something like that. That's how I got in it. I don't. I hate it. 

Katzgrau [00:14:36]: I hate the state of things. And I don't, I think that digital advertising, in most cases, is snake oil. And I don't sell anything to a redbankgreen advertiser unless I sincerely believe it and can show that it measurably works, which is the reason that I actually, I built a button. One of the things I did is I built a button that I put in my customer storefronts, and there's a sign next to it. It says, if you are here today or in the past because of an ad that you've seen on redbankgreen, click this button. And people do it. Right? On my ads on redbankgreen, it says, like, nothing makes a small business owner happier than to see, than to hear that you saw their ad on redbankgreen, and people do it. You know? So, I wanna give someone that feedback, and I wanna give something that works. 

Katzgrau [00:15:20]: But, you know, 300 by 250 ain't gonna do it. And so I think we've given up on advertising a little too early because all we had to do was, like, kinda take that golden rule approach and say, like, what would we buy? What would we believe in? What would we be excited to, you know, shell out a few hundred bucks for, a thousand bucks? So I'm not sure where that part of the conversation started, but, like, that's kind of my approach for changing it up and innovating at least on the advertising side.  Recruiting the community to cover stories you can’t 

Katzgrau [00:15:47]: But and there are other ways that we're I think we're innovating too. The other is just through our reporting. One of the things that we do is that we have the service that we just—well, not just launched. We've been doing it for a little while—called Party Line. Right? So users can or our readers can send in a text message to redbankgreen. We registered a phone number with a service called Twilio, and they can text in a text message to redbankgreen with a photo. 

Katzgrau [00:16:14]: And we have that configured to go straight to WordPress. We take the content. We run it through ChatGPT, with a built-in prompt like, hey. You're a local news reporter, blah blah blah. Most editorial types really hate the whole AI thing, but, just editing for grammar, and clarity. And then we set it up as a draft in WordPress automatically. We get notified. Now we've had probably, like, maybe 4 or 5 people send in stories so far, one of which was actually pretty impactful. 

Katzgrau [00:16:43]: It was, I wrote an article about it on my blog, Living on a Prayer. But I think that Party Line, opening up publishing to people other than just, like, the editors of redbankgreen allows us to be a much better reflection of our community. Our stated core values are the vitality of Red Bank, the community, and having some fun. And I think that one of our our jobs is to really be as good a reflection of the Red Bank community as we possibly can. And I think that as editors, we think of ourselves as being the ones in control of the press in a way. I think that news and publishing can really be democratized even further than WordPress has done itself. And I think something like Party Line, really democratizes not just the power of the press, but also the audience itself. It gives the people of Red Bank the ability to get in front of the audience and report on the things that they think should be reported on. 

Katzgrau [00:17:42]: And we had the opportunity to hear people who otherwise wouldn't be heard. So we're doing interesting things in all kinds of places, but a lot of stuff hits the wall, and, some of it sticks, you know, as usual. 

Regan-Porter [00:17:53]: Yeah. I wanna dig a little bit into the Party Line. You know, one of the things I've talked about on the podcast before is, you know, I think newsrooms really have to understand that they have platforms, you know, print, digital, otherwise, and that partly out of necessity because of the the smaller sizes of, you know, certainly traditional newsrooms, but also for equity reasons. I mean, we've—there have always been, there's always been news we've missed no matter how large the newsrooms are, and there have always been communities that were under-covered. And so how can you involve the community and open up your platforms? And that's a fabulous, and innovative way to do that. Talk a little bit about that one story that you alluded to. What was it? And… 

Katzgrau [00:18:37]: Right. There was, there actually happened in a couple of different ways. But actually, just to touch on something you just mentioned, like, every publisher in the world or every reporter in the world has heard from somebody, hey. You know, you should cover this. And for a hyperlocal publisher, it's something like the local Boy Scouts are doing their Eagle Scout ceremony. And can you guys cover that? And then the publisher is, like usually, a lot of times, they're like, I I can't do that. Like, they don't have the time to do it. But there's all kinds of stuff like that. 

Katzgrau [00:19:04]: But one of the things, I actually got a text message from somebody in town who knew what we're gonna do with Party Line before it even existed. And they said, are you going to the special session of the board of ed meeting tonight? I was like, what is it? And then, you know, she basically said that the board of ed had shut down the local dreamers group, which was, basically, students who are from immigrant families who, it was a a group where, you know, basically, they could connect as an after-school extracurricular group. And they had been shut down, and they ended up filing a complaint with the state, for discrimination. And there were obviously, there's two different sides to the story as to why they were shut down, but that was their standpoint. And so I said that, like, you know, we didn't have the resources. I had something to do that night. I wouldn't have the resources to cover it. So long story short, the local high school newspaper actually helped us cover it. 

Katzgrau [00:18:37]: Right? They showed up on the scene, and they livestreamed the video, and then we broadcast it to our audience. And that was, like, the first iteration of what Party Line was. Like, kind of, like, taking reporting from someone else and then, like, bringing that to redbankgreen. But it developed even further. Just this past Doctor Martin Luther King Day, I got a text from somebody, and they said that same person who was in that dreamers group, Madeline, she's one of the students, she had won an essay, an essay contest at the local YMCA, and there were, YMCA was hosting its commemorative Doctor Martin Luther King event and, an annual event. And she was sharing her essay, and it was all about, like it was about the dreamers. It was about her experience in America, her experience with racism, and truly from the heart. And, again, there was one person, a redbankgreen Party Line user there at the scene who took a picture, sent it in to us. 

Katzgrau [00:21:03]: We were able to get the essay, and then we were able to do a follow-up interview with Madeline. And that's a perfect example of something that we may not have been able to cover because that wasn't even in Red Bank. The event was being hosted three towns over or two towns over, and we were able to cover something that was very important, something that we didn't actually even, we didn't know she won the essay. Nobody told us. So it was like we got the tip and the content. We're able to put it in front of the Red Bank audience. And that is a perfect example of, like, telling a story that otherwise would not be told, an important one at that. 

The importance of fun in work 

Regan-Porter [00:21:37]: Talk a little bit about the fun aspect. You've written about that. And you just mentioned it earlier. So why do you think that's important, and what are you doing to facilitate that? 

Katzgrau [00:21:48]: Well, fun, man. Alright. Listen. We have a finite amount of time on this planet. And I think we, a lot of times—and I'm gonna get a little, like, esoteric, but I'm serious. I think about, I view everything that I do through the lens of 100-year-old Kenny. I think about, like, what would I be proud of? What are the things I wanna spend my time doing? What are the things I don't like doing or who are the, you know, the people I wanna surround myself with? And the three things that I've kind of arrived at that I wanna do on this planet is that I want to leave the world better than I found it. I wanna treat other people the way I'd like to be treated. 

Katzgrau [00:22:25]: I'm a big proponent of the golden rule, but, importantly, I wanna have some fun while I'm here. Like, I think we tend to get so caught up in the things that we are important that it actually—we're not having fun. And I think people who are generally so obsessed with a particular cause, like, you kinda need to take a step back and realize that, like, almost everything that we do like, the reason we even got into our profession in the first place a lot of times, like, is because we thought it would be fun. We saw, like, the good in it, and then we get in it. And, like, yeah, then we start to focus on some of the things that aren't so great about it. And, I think we forget that the reason that we did almost anything is to have fun. I kinda, I sincerely believe that, you know, one of the things I'm supposed to do here is, you know, enjoy myself. I think we all should. 

Katzgrau [00:23:11]: So, again, with, like, redbankgreen, I think that if you don't—I think anything becomes easier when you don't take yourself too seriously. But with redbankgreen, I wanna be a positive force for Red Bank. I want, I know there's real news and important news that we have to cover, but it doesn't mean that's the only thing that we have to do. And if you look at the early days of redbankgreen in 2006, it was a really fun publication. It was a little bit tabloidy, but it covered the important stuff, the town council stuff, and it was a different vibe than what you get elsewhere. And I think what happened to John Ward over the course of, you know, 17 years, like, my first post on Living on a Prayer is, like, he was inches from sending his f-u post and then just going out in a bang. I'm sure every publisher has fantasized, every business owner on the planet is fantasized about this probably more than once throughout their tenure running the business. And that's the point where you forgot that you did this to have fun. 

Katzgrau [00:24:09]: Right? So it's like you always have to remember that. Yeah. We just published our state of the company meeting on YouTube, which is normally an internal event. And, but we published it, and that's the thing I always end with. Like, remember, like, as much as we care about the mission and as important the work that we're doing, or at least we think it is, let's not forget that, like, it's also, life is about much more than that. And having fun is a big part of that, too. So I always end on that. But I think it's an important part of the ingredients. You know? Spoonful of sugar. That's it. You know? You get the medicine, but you need the spoonful of sugar. 

Katzgrau [00:24:46]: Whistle while you work. This has manifested itself through many Disney movies and many other ways, but we've heard it before. Let's not forget it. It's important. 

The importance of fun for readers 

Regan-Porter [00:24:54]: And not only for the people producing it, but as you alluded to earlier, for the people reading it. I mean, we've got so many news avoiders now because, you know, the world is crazy, and they're sick of—they just can't handle it. And so being able to have that balance 

Katzgrau [00:25:11]: Right. 

Regan-Porter [00:25:11]: From a reader standpoint, I think, is super important too. 

Katzgrau [00:25:15]: Yeah. I was standing at Walgreens yesterday, and I saw the cover of The New York Times. And it was just you know, it was war, stuff about Biden. It was just, like it kinda just gave me the sinking feeling looking at the front page. I get it. Like, you know, I guess you have to be informed and stuff like that. But, I think that what has happened is that, especially over the last eight years, you know, I think the 2016, 2020, I think, probably resonates with a lot of people. It became extremely negative all the time, probably for lots of reasons, and lots of obvious reasons. 

Katzgrau [00:25:48]: But that constant negative news cycle, which I now come to think of it, I can't remember a time when the news was anything but negative, which there are important things to report on. But I also think that what has happened with younger generations is that they have started to disconnect. They want the good vibes. They're willing, they want to escape. Right? That and that's why, like, TikTok and social media and Reels is just, like, you know, disappear into it. So I think it, there is some escapism from it. But I'm not blaming the news or the media industry. I, like, understand that lots of really interesting things that, you know, they have happened. 

Katzgrau [00:26:28]: So that's one of the things. And that's a that brings up an important point. One of the things I think we, all of us have to solve for as local news publishers is, like, really thinking, why don't young people seem to give a single shit about the news? Like, what would it take for a 20-something or, like, a late teenager to visit the front page of their local news website? What would it take? I just wanna, there is, there exists a reason somewhere that they will do that. And maybe even consistently. We have to find it because I think it's a needle in absolute haystack, but we will find it and give people a reason to care again, or at least young people a reason to care again. And maybe, like, it, you know, it just so happens, John Garrett, Community Impact, was saying this yesterday. Once people settle down, they, you know, get a place to live and, you know, maybe even have kids, like, then they do become a little more locally active. But, you know, I think it is something that we have to look at. It's like, how do we, how do we get the young person to actually come to the news instead of the news come to them? 

Regan-Porter [00:27:33]: What's your approach to platforms? I mean, are you doing TikTok videos and YouTube videos, that sort of thing? 

Katzgrau [00:27:32]: We've done TikTok, but I've changed up the vibe. Like, it's not just on TikTok. Like, I think our first video on TikTok was—I think it was, like, Thanksgiving eve, and it was, like, 11:30 at night. And I shot, got a video of these kids pushing their friend in a shopping cart, like, full speed down the middle of the street in Red Bank. And I was like, now that is TikTok material. So we got that, and I got some likes and all that. And I talked to the kids afterward and, you know, you know, did a very brief interview. But we've changed up the voice of who we are a little bit on TikTok. 

Katzgrau [00:28:10]: In fact, Redman Green is 17 years old. Our bio on TikTok said, I'm 17, gonna live to a 100. So, yeah, I'm experimenting. I have not been very consistent with it. So and I have stuff I could have posted, but I haven't done it. But, yes, you're right. Getting it out on different channels and, like, kind of approaching the audience from a different direction is something I've been playing with. 

The business owner mindset vs. the reporter mindset 

Regan-Porter [00:28:32]: Yeah. And, obviously, the hard news is super important, and we want the New York Times reporters covering those stories. You know? But at the national level, I meant they're making, they've grown, the way they've grown in part with Cooking and The Athletic now and, you know, those different things. And local news doesn't have that kind of scale, but we have our own equivalent of the news people can use. So you know, they wanna know, yes, you should investigate corruption and any wrongdoing that you see, But you also wanna know what's that what's the construction down the road, and what are the new restaurants in town, and what's happening at the high school, who's, you know, who's winning those, you know, sports events and spelling bees and those sorts of things. So those are, those are also feel-good stories that are news that people want. 

Katzgrau [00:29:19]: Right. I think, you know, I think step one, especially in this environment, is figure out, like, what what do we need to do to, what do we need to cover to survive? Right? And for everyone—and also, like, and what also overlaps with the strengths and weaknesses of the person who's doing the quote, unquote news. Because, like, somebody may not be a hardcore investigative reporter. But at the same time, the people who are, like, real serious investigative reporters, sometimes they can get so caught up in the investigation and reporting that they're forgetting that they're also, like, a business owner. And if not, first and foremost, a business owner. And they don't necessarily put, you know, the time into actually building the business and making that sustainable and inevitably get to a place where they're burnt out. I think anybody, especially at the hyperlocal level, getting into business, like, kinda has to realize that. And there's a great book. 

Katzgrau [00:30:07]: I think I have it on my shelf over here, The E Myth Revisited. But that's a classic for business owners. And it tells the story of somebody who's a baker who opens their own bakery. But, like, then they're getting to the place where they're doing all the baking, and they're doing the finances, and they're also the janitor, and they're doing it all themselves. You can't do it all yourself. Like, being a business owner is a generalist position, and being a reporter is a specialist position. So if you really care about the local news and you wanna start a local news operation, like, the fact that you are a specialist will actually become your biggest, like, weakness. That'll be the thing that holds you back. Same thing with me and Broadstreet. 

Katzgrau [00:30:46]: We didn't make any money. We had lots of customers. We didn't make any money for, like, four or five years. Like, I couldn't pay myself anything. I had to do freelance work. And, the thing that was holding me back was that I liked writing software better than I liked selling. You know? So, if you really care about it, you kinda have to realize that you're a business owner first, and sometimes that changes a little bit about what you're gonna cover. But I think at a baseline, it's like, let's keep the candle lit. 

Katzgrau [00:31:12]: And then over time, we can lay on the investigative piece, and we can lay on the other important stuff. All the important stuff. Everything that we want it to be, we can build that over time. I kind of view it as, like, you got this tiny little flame and, like, how do we grow this little flame into a bigger fire? So, anyway, that's the way I look at it. 

Advertising as telling the story of local businesses 

Regan-Porter [00:31:12]: In some of your writing, you've laid out the vibe model of Vision Business and Everyone, and I wanna dig in a little bit about the business piece. So you've talked about sometimes, we forget they're part of the community. 

Katzgrau [00:31:40]: Oh, yeah. So, at the national level, I don't think, really, people care about brands at all. National ads are gen—I mean, the only time you would actually watch a commercial, like, and enjoy it, I guess, is around the Super Bowl, potentially. Potentially, like, that's, like, you know, it's 20% of them maybe that are mildly entertaining. But I think at the local level, it's about people. And, you know, you don't look at Jamian's Food and Drink like, oh, this, you know, this for profit establishment. Like, Jamian's Food and Drink at Red Bank, like, everyone knows Jamian and you know? Same thing with, like, the car, you know, the car dealership. Like, everyone knows the person, you know, there. 

Katzgrau [00:32:20]: Like, everybody knows each other. And I think that the businesses, the hardcore editorial types, a lot of times, like, look at the businesses as almost, like, privileged to be on their website, like, as an advertiser. Right? And they always keep them at such arm's length. And I think, like, if you kind of treat your advertisers like that, your businesses, like, would it be, really be a surprise if they didn't wanna work with you? And I'm not saying that we have to, like but I'm saying, like, there's a way that we can integrate those businesses into the story of Red Bank that we're telling at redbankgreen that makes it clear that they're paying supporters, but at the same time, like, brings out some of the fun and personality. Like, one of the first people who came on in my era of redbankgreen was a guy or Triumph Brewery, was run by a guy named Adam. And one of the things I wanna do with Adam—we've done some fun things already, but, just ask him, like, Adam, you've been a brewer for 30 years. Like, if you were stuck buying a mainstream beer, right, you have to buy it. Which one's it gonna be? You know? And just, like, little things like that, I asked him, like, what his first album ever was. 

Katzgrau [00:33:36]: Because everyone kinda remembers their first CD or first album. He told me The Who, Live at Leeds. Right? And that's just like those fun things that, Stu, the butcher, we wanna ask him, Stu, tell me about your first date. Right? This guy is, like, a total riot. Like, he would love, you know, something like that. But, like, how can I bring some of the fun and personality instead of just, like, alright? You give me the back here's the insertion order. You give me the banner ad. I'll run it on the site. 

Katzgrau [00:34:01]: Because that's the way, like, that's the way a lot of newspapers, and, like, media have treated their advertisers in the past, which I think is, actually it's a remnant of the old model. It's a remnant of, like, the monopolistic history of media. It was, like, radio, broadcast, and newspaper, like, the three places that you are gonna actually get some reach in terms of your marketing. And so, you kinda had to advertise in the newspaper. I think what happened is that things became so transactional that that is the way that things generally still transpire in the newspaper industry. Ad sales is still very transactional. There have been some efforts to do that, and I think it's about partnership. I think I'm partnered with those local businesses, and I think I can really tell the story of who they are. 

Katzgrau [00:34:44]: I can do it effectively. I can do it cost effectively, And, that's at least what I'm trying at redbankgreen. In fact, a good version of that just went up today on redbankgreen. In the top right sidebar, you're gonna see we have this new unit called Local Authority. It's Chris Havens, real estate agent. It's basically a sponsored content campaign, but I think it positions them really well. Same thing with community pillar. Meeting with the YMCA yesterday morning. 

Katzgrau [00:35:10]: Right? That's how they're presented. So those are my 3 tiers, community pillar, local authority, and local legend. Those are the ones that go beneath the posts. But I think there's a way we can position it and tell their story in a better way than anybody else had and sure as hell better than Google or Facebook's gonna do it. But, 

Beyond CPM buy. Start with what you need. 

Regan-Porter [00:35:26]: Yeah. So talk to me a little about monetizing that. So, you know, I deal with a lot of publishers who are, who come from a print, who still have a print product and they're trying to figure out digital. They're coming at it from a transactional standpoint, to your point. And they also just you know, they realized they're not gonna have a business that supports, you know, multiple people for sure, you know, in a small community based on programmatic ad rates. And if, you know, if they're just doing CPMs at pennies on the dollar compared to what they're used to in print. And so it discourages them from figuring this out. So how are you approaching that, in terms of monetizing it and not just making it, you know, a CPM buy? 

Katzgrau [00:36:10]: Right. Yeah. We don't do anything based on CPM because small business owners don't know what CPM means. They barely even know what impressions and clicks mean. One of my advertisers asked, like, the they've been running with us for three months. They're like, what what do you mean clicks? You mean if someone clicks on it, what happens? You know? And I did already explain this. But, like, they are so busy running their own business. They don't know anything about marketing. 

Katzgrau [00:36:35]: So the way I, you know, historically coach publishers and doing it is basically figure out what you need. Like, let's just say all of print went away. What do you need in terms of revenue? And let's just say it's 500K for, like, a little local family operation in the middle of wherever. And they need 500K for the year, maybe a million bucks. Who knows? Say, okay. Now what am I going to do? Like, how many how can I break that up to a certain number of advertisers where, like, I can actually manage that and do a good job for them? For redbankgreen, I decided, you know, I need probably about 350 to 400K to run this thing the way I wanna do it. Right? That's not paying me anything. This is, like, kind of a, there's a labor of love on my part, but I need about, I need to get this thing about 350, 400K. 

Katzgrau [00:37:22]: How many advertisers do I generally, I think I need about, like, probably about 35. I think that's the most I can manage. Like, four to five community pillars, 10 local authorities, 20 local legends. Right? And then what is the price point that each of those need to pay? And the reason is that I need conceptual building blocks that I can use to move toward my revenue goal. And it's nice because it's a flat rate, and I can tell a publisher it's $500 a month. So for 3 months, it's gonna be—but I am kinda moved toward an annual model. But right now, it's three months for $1500. No one's blinked an eye, and they understand it. 

Katzgrau [00:37:59]: If I'm telling about, like, oh, it's like, you know, you could get 700,000 impressions for, you know, this, you know, this price at a whatever CPM, they'd—I'm gonna lose the sale. And it also commoditizes what I'm selling severely because now I'm just breaking it down to the impression. I don't like having to compare myself with, like, ad exchanges. I learned that the hard way, in 2014 when I was doing, like, a group buy across a bunch of New Jersey publishers. No matter what I was doing, they just wanted to break it down to CPM. And, a CPM doesn't tell the story of the value of what it is that you're providing someone. It makes it about the product and not the needs of the advertiser. Chris Havens, as a real estate agent, if he gets one real estate client, he's gonna make a lot more than $1500. 

Katzgrau [00:38:48]: Right? So it's like, is what I'm doing likely to help him get a customer? So, anyway, so I break it down to the pricing that I need, and then I fill those little buckets with enough value that I think, realizes—that a given client would be absolutely crazy to say no to. So if you look at the creative that we have for Chris Havens on redbankgreen right now, which will probably be up for a long time because I know people listen to the podcast at different times. But there's, I asked Chris, what are the 3 questions you hear from potential real estate buyers and sellers the most? I turn those into content. You can click into each of those. Right? So it's basically he's got a creative, and then it's got sponsored content. It's also got his bio in there. And, by the end of the week, there's gonna be a lead form in there. So it's basically an AMA, ask Chris anything about real estate, and, it becomes a lead for Chris. 

Katzgrau [00:39:41]: It's outrageous value. He would be absolutely insane not to pay the $5K in annual price point to do that. And some people still won't get it, and then I just move on to the next real estate agent. You know? That's how I'm doing it. I break it down in those building blocks. Reader revenue is phase two. So my goal is to get to, redbankgreen to about a 100K annually in reader revenue. We're only a town of 10,000. 

Katzgrau [00:40:04]: So, you know, you do the math. It's a challenge. We have 40,000 readers because Red Bank's cool, and it's like the—you know, we have a universe of people in our periphery that read redbankgreen, but I need to get about a $100,000 reader revenue. And I think all said and done, I'll probably land around 350 to 400. 

Regan-Porter [00:40:23]: Great. I think that's very helpful. I think a lot of publishers will appreciate the specificity there. 

Katzgrau [00:40:22]: Yeah. It's really just to summarize. Start with what you need. That's it. If that was my, just my one piece of advice, start with what you need, and that's it. 

Nurturing advertiser relationships and automating tasks 

Regan-Porter [00:40:40]: And I would encourage people, go to the website and look at these ads. This isn't a traditional banner ad. Like, there's some real value there that's pretty obvious. And it, you know, it's clear that it's sponsored content. It's not like you're hiding this as an editorial piece. Talk a little bit about proving that value over time and into the—the button idea was great. So how, what kind of feedback? How do you nurture the relationship so that it's not just a transactional piece after you've sold it? 

Katzgrau [00:41:11]: Right. It happens one, a few different ways. A little bit of, like, personal touch and, some automation. So one is that I make sure that every advertiser gets regular automated reports of their performance. And this is where Broadstreet comes in. Like, you know, we generate reports that are, like, really easy and understandable for the advertiser. And they get rendered to PDF. So it's not like, hey. 

Katzgrau [00:41:34]: Log in to your portal and see—because they're never gonna do that. But, they do get an email. It's the PDF's attached. It's easy enough to take a look at. So that's automated. On redbankgreen, some of the ads, not all of them, but, like, the YMCA ad at the top, like, you can like. Right? So we track the number of people who like it too. So we brought that concept of like to the ads. 

Katzgrau [00:41:56]: And, like, it also explodes with a configurable thing. But people have been doing that. So it's got about, the YMCA has got 250, and it's only been about a week so far. I think some people have probably been button mashing and hitting that thing a lot. So when people like it, then they get an automated, like, email. Every week, they kinda get that Credit Karma-esque update where it's like, hey. You got seven new likes this week or, you know, your score went up this much. So that's nice. 

Katzgrau [00:42:21]: But, also, it's not just email. I also send a text message. And, I know most people are probably, well, this will be audio only, but I'll show Tim here. I'll go find a, recent advertiser. In fact, this is Adam at Triumph. So just like showing on my screen. There we go. That's the report, and I was just sending that to Adam via text message. 

Katzgrau [00:42:47]: So I just let, like, let him know how he's doing and all that. So and a lot of advertisers, like, they get back and they're like, thanks so much. Like, I kinda put it into human language for them. I'm like, you're doing awesome. That's all they wanna hear. They wanna hear that they're not burning their money. The cases where they could be doing better, I suggested, hey. Listen. 

Katzgrau [00:43:05]: Joe at the Bagel Shop, he was working with us, and he was so proud of his bacon and egg flavored bagel. Right? He was so pumped about this. He sent a picture of it. The bacon and egg flavored bagel picture didn't actually do a great job performance wise. So I was like, Joe, I think we need some new content. My wife actually went to the bagel shop. This is the kind of stuff that a local publisher can do that, like like, again, Google made it, etcetera, can't do. We took pictures. 

Katzgrau [00:43:32]: IPhone, nothing special, thousands of times better than the picture of the bagel. Click rate went through the roof. Right? Then Joe got a professional photographer to take pictures of his bagels. They came out great too. And so when it's good news, we tell them. And if it's less than good news, we tell them how to fix it. And I try to automate most of it, but, you know, monthly check-in is really important because no news is bad news in advertising. So so we give them the results, and we also give them the encouragement and the coaching on how to do a good job. 

The Broadstreet ad manager platform 

Regan-Porter [00:44:08]: Great. Well, let's end before rapid fire questions on Broadstreet. So is this taking all of your time? Is Broadstreet still developing? And… 

Katzgrau [00:44:18]: Dude, we, I have inadvertently stepped into the most amazing flywheel situation and that everything that I do for redbankgreen benefits Broadstreet and vice versa. It's given me so much insight into what it is that—because I could talk all day. And even having worked so closely with redbankgreen and coached publishers and done the on-sites with them, That last 1% of perspective changed absolutely everything. And now that I'm using Broadstreet, like, on a day to day basis as an actual user, do you know how many things piss me off about my own platform? You know, it informs so many things that, like, this sprint alone, we've knocked out, like, 20, 30 things that I want changed. Right? It's given me insight into, like, 20, 30 things that I want done as new features. Right? It's accelerated things, and it's really stoked the fire that was always burning pretty bright, but it's bright, burning brighter than ever before. And I'm so happy that it panned out that way because I had no idea it was gonna work out this way in the beginning. 

Regan-Porter [00:45:21]: And for particularly smaller publishers who, you know, maybe they've got just a basic, but not even Google Ad Manager, just, you know, AdSense or something like that. What does Broadstreet offer, and why might they consider it? 

Katzgrau [00:45:20]: Right. So, anybody can think of Broadstreet as more or less, at a very absolute baseline, Google Ad Manager, Ad Rotate, Ad Inserter Pro, Advanced Ads, you name it. It's the software, the baseline that gets the ads onto your website, schedule them, start them, etcetera. But the three big reasons that customers come to Broadstreet is essentially, one, the service and support that, like, we implement you. We make recommendations for things that we know are gonna work for you. We solve all those annoying problems, like on a mobile device, all your ads at the bottom of the page. Advertisers don't like that. Nobody likes answering that email when an advertiser asks. 

Katzgrau [00:46:11]: So we make sure, like, this is informed. Everything that we do is informed by the 450 publishing groups that we work with, mostly in local media, hyperlocal news, B2B. But service and support is a huge part of it because we're very hands on. And if you read our reviews on G2, it's like it's like 5 out of 5, 5 out of 5, 5 out of 5 because that's the culture that we established. We actually care about our customers. But, secondly, the ad formats, man, I do not wanna show up to an ad sales meeting unless I got something really good to show somebody. We got over a 100 ad formats. We recommend picking three. 

Katzgrau [00:46:44]: There are some absolute bestsellers, and that local authority unit that I did on redbankgreen, that's gonna be on Broad Street. That's gonna be available. So all the best stuff that, like, everything is proven, everything has been sold by another publisher. We follow the best standard. We have an internal standard, b-e-s-t. But one of those is sellable. That's what s is. It has to be sellable. 

Katzgrau [00:47:08]: Like and it has to be proven that somebody else sold it first. So before it ever shows up in that gallery, someone else sold it. So the ad formats, they differentiate. They get better performance, three to five times better performance. And, they just build a competitive mode around the business. Nobody else can do it. You know? Nobody's working with Patch. They're working with me. 

Katzgrau [00:47:26]: Right? So, the last thing is the reporting. Like, automating it, man, especially if you're a small operation. There's so much manual work involved in, like, doing a good job for an advertiser, and we have automated a lot of it. There's even more that we can automate. Even the check ins, the little check ins, not just the reports, little check ins with an advertiser. Integrating ChatGPT so we can auto summarize, like, a quick email or text message to an advertiser and say, this is how you performed. Like, the the human touch that I provide right now, some of that and, Tim, I know your, like, last podcast was on AI. Like, if you can do a good job and you can do some quick information where it's not like you didn't need, like, a real editor on it. That should be automated. 

Katzgrau [00:48:12]: And, so those are the things that we're building in. So, so you can think of Broadstreet as basically Google Ad Manager plus superpowers for local sales. That's why I do it. It's important. It works. We have customers who said they wouldn't be in business if it weren't for us. And that really gets me excited because it's not just the 450 publishing groups we're helping. Like, we are also, by extension, like, helping their communities. 

Katzgrau [00:48:35]: The publishers who said that they wouldn't be in business, if not for us, is right outside of Seattle. Their readership is, like, 300,000 people. They're the only one. They're the ones keeping the light on. If they're saying that, that means our crappy little ad tech company in Red Bank, New Jersey, which I know, I think we do amazing things, but that means our little ad tech company in Red Bank, New Jersey, is indirectly supporting the local news of 300,000 people outside of Seattle. Man, like, I'll wake up every single day and go to work for that. So it gets me excited. That's why we do what we do. 

Rapid-fire questions 

Regan-Porter [00:49:11]: Alright. So now for rapid fire questions, and your answers don't have to be rapid, but the questions are short. So first question, beyond your own publication now, are you more or less less optimistic about the future of local news than you were a year ago? 

Katzgrau [00:49:30]: Always optimistic. You never know the future, so stay optimistic. 

Regan-Porter [00:49:35]: And I think I know the answer to this. Does AI fill you with more hope or dread when it comes to journalism? 

Katzgrau [00:49:40]: There are always trade offs. Hope. 

Regan-Porter [00:49:43]: Messy desk or clean desk? 

Katzgrau [00:49:45]: It's an absolut—it's a nightmare. What you can't see is amazing. I've got audio equipment, newspapers, coffee cups. It's amazing. 

Regan-Porter [00:49:56]: I can relate. Do you have a favorite piece of advice you've been given or that you like to give? 

Katzgrau [00:50:02]: Something I arrived at myself, I've been saying a lot lately. I do a lot of thinking. I say, there's no higher purpose than lifting someone else up. I think we can do that in small ways and big ways. I like to think that Broadstreet's doing it for an industry, but I really think that, like, of all the things that you could do on this planet, a lot of times, you know, you think about the impact you wanna make. It can be just as important if it's really small if you give someone else a lift who needs it. So, I think that's really important. 

Regan-Porter [00:50:30]: You know, in tech, in Silicon Valley, the ethos is, you know, fail fast; failure is good. We still don't like to talk about our failures sometimes, and especially in journalism where you have to get the journalism right. But do you have a favorite failure of yours that you learned a lot from, put you on a different path, or something that stands out for you? 

Katzgrau [00:50:51]: Yeah. I mean, yeah, I think the fail fast mantra, first of all, is kind of misguided. I think there's real value in sticking with something. I think the fail fast mantra is offered by VCs who want you to fail fast so you stop wasting their money. But I think if I followed that advice with Broadstreet, Broadstreet wouldn't be a thing. And I learned so much. So much. The advice that I think is most important for anybody setting goals out there, for anybody who's got dreams and they wants to get there, never set the goal for the end goal itself. Like, set it for who you wanna become on the way there. 

Katzgrau [00:51:33]: So for Broadstreet, if I say, like, hey. I have a goal of getting this thing to be a $50 million a year company one day. Right? Or, you know, actually and and in fact, at one time, it was much smaller. It was like, I just need to get this thing to be, like, a $1,000,000 a year company. Right? But don't set it for the million bucks because that's like, it's kinda immaterial. Set it for, like, who you have to become on the way. So set your sales goals for who you have to become on the way because that's where all the value is. Right? Like, the million or whatever, that'll come and go. 

Katzgrau [00:52:01]: But, like, you know, all the stuff you have to learn on the way there is so important. And that's not my personal advice. That's actually a guy named Jim Rohn's advice. He's one of those, like, speakers from, you know, those corporate motivational speakers. And he got it from his mentor, Earl Shoaff, back in the fifties. I think I'm probably the first person to talk about Earl Shoaff in 70 years. But, like, I think that's one of the most powerful pieces of advice there is out there. 

Regan-Porter [00:52:24]: Do you have a favorite place or activity for when you wanna just think big? 

Katzgrau [00:52:29]: Yes. Walking. Chewing gum, starving, and walking. So, basically, like, I don't like to, I don't like to eat a lot in general, but, basically, being in a fasted state and going for a walk and something about chewing gum, man. Like, the ideas just flow, and I feel like I'm in a state of clarity. And I can walk pretty much anywhere because I get so in the zone. I don't even know what's going—like, I'm at risk of walking into traffic. I'm so locked in. 

Katzgrau [00:52:58]: But, no, that's definitely it. Walking and fasting pretty much. 

Regan-Porter [00:53:05]: Great. Other than walking, maybe, is what's one thing you do to restore yourself and maintain your sanity? 

Katzgrau [00:53:12]: I think it's doing the stuff that I don't let myself do. Like, ever been standing in line at, like, a checkout counter, and you see, like, maybe like a candy you haven't eaten in, like, 20 years. You know? Or you're like, oh, man. When was the last time I've been to Wendy's? Like, just giving, ever so often, giving into that thing that you've been telling yourself no to forever. What I—and every now and then, I do an entire day of that. I call it do whatever you want day, and it's whatever, it's total impulse day. It's like I'm walking, you know, I'm like, I never went to that shop. Oh, I always wanted an electric guitar. 

Katzgrau [00:53:46]: You know? It's just like it's like—alright. That part has never actually happened but it's stuff along that nature. Like, it's like I never order a steak when I'm out. That's nuts. I get the burger because you know, but, like, today's steak day. So it's, like, kinda just doing the thing that you kinda wanted to do but told yourself no. 

Regan-Porter [00:54:04]: Do you have a favorite time saving hack? 

Katzgrau [00:54:07]: Yes. Basically, the first two hours of every day, 6 AM to 8 AM, are my most focused, and that's when I work. That's when I do the most important and productive work I can do all day. Rest of the day can be a complete dumpster fire, which I think most business owners know usually is. And, but, like, you know, I'd read it in a book, Find Your Yellow Tux, and it was from somebody else. But, win the day, win the morning. So get your most important work done in the day. You'll probably be more focused and get it done in a shorter amount of time. 

Katzgrau [00:54:37]: But if you can use your focus time, most focused time effectively, it's amazing. You can you can crank out a day's worth of work in two hours. 

Regan-Porter [00:54:46]: Do you have a creative measure of success you've set for yourself or your team? 

Katzgrau [00:54:51]: No. I think I just, it's all how I feel. Like, I know if I did a good job that day. I know if we did a good job that week. But I usually look back and just say, wow. Look at all the stuff we got done in one week. People must think we got hundreds of employees. Somebody yesterday on a call with our sales team said they would guesstimate us at 2,000 employees. 

Katzgrau [00:55:15]: We've got 13, and it's because we're relatively prolific. But, no. It's all it's all gut instinct. 

Regan-Porter [00:55:25]: I'm guessing you have a lot of, you have good automated systems. I mean, you talked about that with the tool, but internally…. 

Katzgrau [00:55:32]: Yeah. Being a developer, I think in the words of who is it? Larry Wall, who is the author of Perl, the Perl programming language, who said that developers are inherently lazy. It's true. And anything that can be automated, we generally will try to and, and also use it as an, we'll usually make an excuse to automate something. I guess, famously, quote, unquote, shaving the yak. We will find an excuse to automate something because we like writing code better than doing the thing that we could be doing. But yeah. No. 

Katzgrau [00:56:05]: Automation and efficiency. If I don't have to think about it, less errors, less time spent, all that stuff. 

Regan-Porter [00:56:11]: Great. Final question. Five years out, what does amazing success look like for redbankgreen and Broadstreet? 

Katzgrau [00:56:18]: I'd say yeah. I'd say, for redbankgreen, it's having six months to a year worth of money in the bank, or years, expenses in the bank. That's generally the rule I follow always anyway. I think it's important. And, having the team that we need and having really happy customers and really happy readers. Right? So that's amazing success. Then it means, like, okay. At least we got something that worked. 

Katzgrau [00:56:46]: Can we repeat this for another 78 years at that point? For Broadstreet, I think it's hitting the the SaaS rule of 40, so which is basically, you know, 40% margin, which is generally a good metric to hit. Are is, you know, is everyone on the team happy and learning? Right? Are they getting do they do they love the people that they work with? Do they love the company that they work with? Are they are they learning something new every day? Is it aligned with their with what they want out of life? When they're a 100 years and they look back and they say, time I spent at Broadstreet, best years of my life. And are we serving as many publishers as we possibly could, regardless of whether they're paying us or not? Because I know, like, Broadstreet, it we have a price there's a price tag associated with it. And that was necessary because at some point, I had to I had to build a team, and I had to get them health benefits. I'd do all the stuff that and so I felt like sometimes, like, we've been a little it's been a little exclusive because it came with a price tag that not everyone could afford. But we'll be changing that, and we'll making we'll be making a a free version of what we do for our customers in q 2 of this year. And, part of that is that, like, regardless of your ability to pay, I wanna make sure that publishers are benefiting from us. I wanna be part of their story. 

Katzgrau [00:58:09]: I think there aren't enough companies that are paying attention to space. Lord knows Silicon Valley hasn't touched it with a 10-foot stick since 2010, you know, with, all their local startups. So I kinda see us as being uniquely positioned and called to do what we're doing. 

Regan-Porter [00:58:32]: Great. Well, thank you so much for your time. This has been great. 

Katzgrau [00:58:36]: Yeah. Thank you, Tim. Thanks for having me. 

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