Tony Dearing is on the editorial team at He came to Ann Arbor as the inaugural chief content officer for He was previously at the Flint Journal.


DEARING: The top priority is to create a new business model that can sustain journalism in a community. That's the top priority. Now, to succeed at that, we have to draw a large audience and then we have to make money off that audience. So the second priority is to build a large audience for what we're doing, that includes the audience we already have, and more people. Ultimately, the goal is to create an organization online that makes enough money online to sustain itself online and to sustain journalism in the future.

"I don’t want anybody to think it’s about the Web site or the Web site design. What’s the design of craigslist?” he said. Instead it’s important to create an online community with good professional reporting, an engaged conversation from readers and find a way to make enough money to support it. He wants to appeal both to existing readers of the News and to a broader audience who would never subscribe to a paper.