Bill Cummings



Editor and Publisher

20 OVER 50

President & CEO, NERUS Strategies, LLC, Salem, Oregon First job in news: I was a real estate sales representative at The Fresno Bee. What are some of the most important lessons you have learned while working in news? Transitioning from leading a creative ad agency to joining The Fresno Bee and Mcclatchy, I witnessed the contrast between conservative small business owners and liberal-leaning newsrooms. As of 2001, when I shifted to media, revenues were robust, and newsrooms populated. A divide emerged, defending editorial stances against advertisers’ viewpoints. With the internet’s rise, audience behaviors transformed, affecting relevance. Local coverage suffered amid clashes between advertising and news, impacting circulation. A key lesson: maintain indispensability and relevance, and become irreplaceable to advertisers, despite the evolving media landscape and ideological disparities. When you reflect on your career to date, what brings you the greatest sense of accomplishment? the shift from transactional to transformative local media, I’ve emphasized creativity’s significance, ensuring lasting impact. Adapting and embracing change while upholding creative leadership remain essential in navigating the media’s dynamic landscape. What are your predictions for where news publishing/news media is headed? I think we may be headed towards a renaissance with news media. The challenge is finding a way to affordably deliver local information in a way that benefits the reader and the small business advertiser. In our business, we appeal to the small advertiser to engage with our “Best Of ” programs and other highly vertical features. With more relevance to the reader, it delivers more relevance to the small business. We have adopted an Amazon-like experience for the advertiser, and they are responding. When media options and offerings are simple and straightforward, with clear rewards, there is success.