WAN-IFRA: Can you tell our readers about how long you have been in the industry?
Audun Solberg: I started working at a local newspaper in the city where I grew up in 1991. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work in the industry ever since.
How does your company tackle the paper challenges?
In several ways: We are constantly working with our print and distribution partners to look for any savings that can be made and are cooperating closely with other newspapers and parts of the company. We are also working to develop our e-newspaper to be a supplement to our healthy, digital subscription business.
Is your market facing difficulties in distribution?
Yes, distribution cost is by far the biggest long-term concern for us. Norway’s geography isn’t perfect for keeping costs of distribution low. Luckily, our owner Schibsted has invested a lot in a parcel business that is steadily growing and is a major factor in helping us to have more control over the cost than we otherwise would have.
How is your company attracting new talents?
Our standing as the maker of trustworthy journalism and a force for change is a very good foundation for attracting new talents.
Where do you see the most growth potential for newspaper printers?
There is still a demand for specialised editions on several topics. Also, our backlog is phenomenal and there is no shortage of content that we can use and reuse.
One technology/hardware that you have invested/are planning to invest in, and why?
Page automation from Aptoma is a new tool for making newspaper pages with high quality and less personnel.
One issue that has been irking you and affecting your business lately. And how are you overcoming it?
The energy crisis and the increase of cost that follows it.
Technology and user preferences have changed. Is the newspaper printing industry adapting to these changes, or is it just catching up?
I guess a little bit of both. It’s hard, if not impossible, to always be on top. But I see a lot of creativity around me and a willingness to be agile and act fast.
Sustainability is a catchphrase these days. In the past one year, what was your significant move towards sustainability? And how has it benefited you/the business?
Our distribution partners are doing great work with outsourcing fossil fuel from our transportation network and facilitating more walking among our newspaper deliverers in urban areas.
One piece of advice that you’d like to share with your friends in the industry.
Never give up! There are always possible business opportunities around the next corner.
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