Part II: What news founders wish they’d known about launching a media business

Shasta Scout's Annelise Pierce and RevLab's Emily Dresslar share news startup tips and lessons on News Guest.

April 12, 2022 by Ben DeJarnette

A graphic with photos of this podcast episode’s guests, Shasta Scout founder Annelise Pierce and RevLab director Emily Dresslar

What do you wish you’d known about launching a news business before you started?

In Part I of our News Guest conversation about this question, we talked with Santa Cruz Local founder Kara Meyberg Guzman about finding a sustainable workload and with Gettysburg Connection founder Chuck Stangor about building and managing a tech stack. 

In this month’s episode, we hear from three more independent news publishers about their advice for first-time founders:

  • Don’t wait to file your IRS paperwork. If you plan to operate your business as a nonprofit, Shasta Scout founder Annelise Pierce warns that it can take a long time to get official 501(c)3 status – and you might need to find a fiscal sponsor in the meantime.
  • Start thinking about revenue early. RevLab director Emily Dresslar says founders should build a revenue strategy right out of the gate and even consider trying to get sponsors or advertisers on board before launch. 
  • Embrace learning on the job. To close out the episode (and Season 1 of News Guest!), we turned the tables on our host Candice Fortman and asked what she’s learned since becoming executive director of Outlier Media three years ago. Her biggest lesson: There’s no way to prepare for leading a news organization for the first time. You just have to learn on the job. 

Listen to the News Guest episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your audio, and help us grow the podcast by rating, reviewing and subscribing.

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