The Lost Remote 'reboot': our focus on the future

By Steve Safran 

How could I stay away? One LR Plaza, my home from 2000 – 2007, has taken me back, doubtlessly out of pity. After intense negotiations that involved, among other things, beer, Cory has agreed to let me darken the pages of Lost Remote for another tenure. Disagree, if you will, about the value of this move. But agree with me on this much: local news is suffering one discouraging fate after another as 2010 begins. But there are some signs of hope.

Our “reboot,” “refocus” or whatever you want to call it is designed to help local media that want the latest ideas. Lost Remote has always been a positive place that salutes innovation. We intend to focus, more intently than ever, on the local news space. There will be stories that may not be, nominally, about what a local entity is doing. When that’s the case, there will always be suggestions on how local news can adopt the lessons from that story. The best ideas in local media often don’t come from the local media.

There are plenty of articles online that seem to revel in the decline of local media. You won’t find that here. On the contrary, we’re bullish on local media. We love local news. Yes – there are big, big changes that are happening. And no, not everyone will survive. But the rewards will be many for those who reinvent.

Our Tweets, on the other hand, might be a little more broad. I don’t want just to be a glorified RSS feed. So we’ll tweet and rewet some stories that we think you’ll find interesting, even if they aren’t necessarily specific to local news.

We have had so many great bloggers here, with the likes of David Johnson, Jeff Gralnick, Frank Catalano, Liz Foreman, Julie Moos, Stephen Warley and Terry Heaton. Along the way, readers began to comment, becoming what I half-jokingly call the “LR Faithful.” Now we have a new member of the band: author Mark Briggs joins the team to provide his insights. We hope to add still more new voices in the coming months.

For the past few years, my splendid business partner Terry Heaton and I have been continuing to write about the urgent matters facing local news. Terry’s as visionary as ever, as you can see at his PoMo Blog. I owe a great deal of thanks to AR&D President & CEO Jerry Gumbert, too. He supports the crazy ideas of the 2.0 unit and is one of the best presenters you’ll ever see.

Still, the chance to come back to LR is too tempting. I started as “East Coast Bureau Boss” before becoming “Managing Editor.” Now, as “Editor,” I get to be even more controlling and egomaniacal than ever. Cory, God bless him, likes to be fair. I’ve never had that problem. We worked well together because I threw the bombs and he cleaned up afterwards. (Or, at least, let the rubble lie.)

I know that a lot of websites have come along over the years that now that cover the news. I think it’s terrific. The idea that we need to share has grown so far beyond what I imagined in 1999. I hope that we inject a new sense of urgency to the dialogue and that we will continue to get your support, your comments and your crazy ideas.