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REEVES DOES THE BUSINESS WITH NEW LAUNCH

02-02-2010

Marc Reeves

“This ain’t no back bedroom pop-up operation. It’s a serious business with serious revenues” promises former Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves commenting on his new role running the West Midlands operation of thebusinessdesk.com - a dedicated business website for the region.

Eyebrows will be raised at Reeves decision to take on his former Trinity Mirror employers in direct competition, but he sees nothing odd in it: “What do people do in the media but go to other jobs in the media or start other media businesses?

“But this is such a different business model to the Post. How can we compete with an organisation that puts out tonnes of newsprint every week, and which has a very good online proposition?

“Sure, we’ll be chasing the same stories sometimes, but I see that as a good thing.”

Like all web-based media businesses, the key question is can you make it pay? And if so, how?

“There’ll be ads and sponsorship of our daily and weekly email alerts” Reeves explained.

“It’s a very old-fashioned business model. It’s just that we’re using new technology.

“We’re going out and serving a community and the advertisers are coming along for the ride.

“The difference is that we are a very lean business model without hundreds of mouths to feed.”

Businessdesk.com was founded in Leeds in 2007 by former Yorkshire Post business editor David Parkin and a Manchester edition has been running for more than a year.

After the difficult process of overseeing the Post’s move from a daily to a weekly – and shedding dozens of jobs in the process – Reeves sounds relieved to be working in an area of the media where growth is the buzzword, rather than managing decline.

He said: “We’ve got one more journalist to recruit, and then we’ll have created three new jobs in Birmingham – and that’s 100% more than have been created by any publisher in the region over the last three years.

“We’ll also have an ad sales job. This ain’t no back bedroom pop-up operation. It’s a serious business with serious revenues.”

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