ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.
Today’s guest blogger is Cindy Martin.
There’s a gaping hole in our local media.
Sure, we have the established al.com and The Birmingham News.
Business people depend on the Birmingham Business Journal.
African-Americans lean on The Birmingham Times.
There are weeklies like Weld…and there are suburban newspapers like The Vestavia Voice and The Homewood Star.
But what about millennials?
Millennials represent the largest generation in the U.S…and are a force to be reckoned with.
Millennials, born 1980-2000, have grown up with cell phones and the internet in hand.
The millennial ‘mind-set’ is not a hard age range, but a value system.
The baby boomer generation values justice, integrity, family, practicality and duty higher than millennials.
Millennials value happiness, passion, diversity, sharing and discovery higher than their boomer parents.
But, alas! Birmingham didn’t have media that served this new way of thinking, or at least I couldn’t find it.
So, I founded Bham Now last fall.
I had recently left my position as President of Alabama Media Group where I had served as CEO of AL.com since its inception in 1997.
Birmingham was experiencing unprecedented momentum.
Avondale appeared to pop-up out of nowhere.
REV Birmingham was working to jumpstart Woodlawn.
Regions Park moved to Southside.
Railroad Park was coming alive.
UAB football was revived from the brink of death. The list goes on.
This phenomena required leadership and the embracement and support of millennials, uhem – young folk – to go out and rent the apartments, buy the drinks, run the runs, buy the tickets and fill up the seats.
While I was scouring the landscape for my next opportunity, I noticed the birth of new media companies in other cities. These businesses were created specifically to serve the millennial-minded audience–Philadelphia’s Billypenn.com and Charlotte’s Charlotteagenda.com.
And, at least from this side of the fence, they looked like they were doing well!
What makes Bham Now millennial-minded?
Bham Now focuses on topics that our team believes will help make our city better.
New businesses, local jobs, rebuilding neighborhoods, healthy lifestyles, protecting our environment, getting outside and finding fun things to do are what we’re about.
We’re not the go-to site for football scores or crime stats.
We will and do tackle some issues in our city but we believe a healthy mix of entertainment helps keep our spirits high.
Bham Now is published purely online, free of charge, and is mobile optimized. Over 80% of our growing visitor base – doubled over the last 2 months – came from phones.
We believe that being a locally owned company is a differentiator. Locally owned companies make Birmingham unique. It is what gives our city its personality.
Bham Now wants to celebrate our localness as a city and as a locally owned media company.
Come hear David speak
That’s why we started the BOLD Speaker Series, featuring local people who are doing bold things and have big ideas for our city.
Our next Bold Speaker is David Sher, publisher of ComebackTown.
Hear David’s vision for how we can make Birmingham better on Thursday, April 13th from 5:30 – 7:00pm upstairs at Avondale Brewery. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Cindy Martin is Founder and President of Bham Now. She previously served as President of Alabama Media Group and was the founding CEO of AL.com. She’s a native of Bessemer where she was a cheerleader at Jess Lanier High School. Her dad still resides in Bessemer.
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David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak to your group about a better Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org