Cheddar Seeks Younger Audiences with Different Approach to News

 By John Durham, Cox-SABEW Fellow

Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg is challenged to build his audience daily, but that is a difficult task in a world where technology is constantly evolving.

Cheddar’s website describes the company as a “video news network focused on covering the most innovative products, technologies and services transforming our lives.”

Steinberg spoke recently at the 2018 Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing conference in New York City, describing the company’s approach in search of younger audiences.

“We change everything else, our anchors are younger and more diverse,” Steinberg said. “The topic selection is exclusively focused on technology and media innovation.”

Years ago, it was easy for a consumer to turn on the TV and watch the nightly news. But today, very few watch cable news and instead turn to cable-free alternatives such as YouTube and Snapchat to consume news.

Steinberg said media executives have had to adjust their business models in order for audiences to see their content.  He also emphasized that being open to change is critical in journalism as it is in any business.

In the current media environment, social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook can provide important audience referrals, but Steinberg said readers are attracted to Cheddar for the types and quality of stories that it offers, which is more important to building audience than the social media platforms.

“The stories we do are really fun and really exciting and people always say I learned something every time I see them,” Steinberg said.

John Durham is a student double majoring in journalism and management at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and its Terry College of Business. He was recognized as a 2018 Cox-SABEW Fellow.

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