NUVO Stops Print Publishing And Accepting Advertising

All Media To Watch Closely Subscription-Only Model.

Indianapolis Alternative paper NUVO stopped printing physical issues earlier this month.  Founded in 1990, NUVO covered many stories other publications wouldn’t.  Focusing on arts, politics, and entertainment, the paper was a staple at newsstands across the city.

Instead of relying on a base of advertisers like it has in the past, NUVO announced a new model that plans to focus on gaining subscribers and online traffic.  While it’s unclear of the impact this will have on NUVO’s previous print advertisers, many of the journalists who created content will be laid off due to the restructuring.

Laura McPhee was an editor at NUVO before she lost her job.  She says the restructure is problematic for Indianapolis.

“NUVO is just one of hundreds of papers that are closing around the country. I’m worried about what news means two years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now,” she said. “I hope everyone realizes that supporting local journalism is more important than ever. Whatever’s left, give them your support.”

The last issue of NUVO, Indianapolis’ alternative newspaper. (Photo: Domenica Bongiovanni/IndyStar)

Many advertisers have abandoned print, instead opting for other methods of marketing.  Despite the shift, radio remains an effective means of disseminating information as it reaches more Americans than any other media.  However, it’s unclear how or if advertising will be integrated in NUVO’s new platform.  What’s not in question is the following the publication has.  They boasted 25,000 subscribers in 2018, and while that’s down from numbers they had previously there is still clearly a desire for their content.

Other media companies have abandoned traditional platforms too, but it’s unclear how this strategy will do.  The Athletic is an in-depth sports publication that caters to avid fans and produces local stories.  While they boast big name writers and rely on the same model NUVO is, both publications are still young and trying to figure out how to monetize their products.  Even if advertisers would be allowed on these platforms it’s unclear how they would react to being immediately shut out of NUVO’s print business.