Meet your IPC

Member profile: Don Day, KTVB

By Sydney Sallabanks

“We are in for nothing but change,” said Don Day, when asked about the future of the news industry. Day is digital media producer at KTVB News Group, Boise’s NBC affiliate. Apart from a brief stint in Seattle, he’s been keeping the station at the forefront of digital media since he graduated from high school in 1999.

Day says he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t fascinated by the news process. Eager to get involved, he simultaneously ran a newspaper and launched a Web development company as a student at Borah High School. A knack for news combined with digital expertise helped land him a job at KTVB immediately following graduation.

Born and raised in Boise, Day spends his work week developing digital media initiatives for the award-winning KTVB.COM and its online classified advertising Web site, He spends his off hours blogging about Idaho’s radio airwaves on IdahoRadioNews.
com, which he founded in 2003. He also co-owns Day Power Media, a Web design and consulting company, and writes about local media for Last May he joined the state board of the Idaho Press Club.

In between deadlines, Day makes time to discuss his favorite topic: News.

You often comment about the changing face of news, and you’ve even insisted that traditional printed newspapers will be non-existent within a matter of decades. What do you predict will happen? The way people consume media has changed in the last 10 years and will continue. There will be more things like alternative weeklies or commuter products, (newspapers targeted toward commuter train or bus riders, for example). I think the main exception will be small towns, because they are more insulated from changes in the media and they don’t have a heavy reliance on classified advertising.

How is that affecting television news? Daily newspapers used to rely on classifieds, but now that’s dwindling. It’s a problem in TV also, but TV is a bit less affected because they have the added advantage of being visual. Still, lots of people are watching on TiVo and bypassing the ads. If they’re watching shows on Hulu and not on TV, that means a dwindling audience for newscasts.

So what’s the solution to keeping quality journalism alive? It can sound like a lot of gloom and doom, but hopefully some innovation will be created out of this. One new trend is the “neighborhood blog,” a news site for a smaller audience. A great example is — they took a portion of Seattle that didn’t typically get a lot of its own coverage from the big dailies. They cover everything from small power outages on up. It has a small audience, but tons of traffic because it’s hyper-local.

Both inside and outside of the news industry, some express reservations about the blogosphere. How do you feel about it right now? I’ve been blogging for a long time, and the biggest concern I have is with the comments. People feel free to sit behind a keyboard and anonymously rattle off something pointed and negative about someone else. One of the first things I said on my blog was that there would be no room for personal attacks. I might be critical of a company or an approach, but not an individual.

KTVB is on MSN.COM, is linked to CNN and is one of Idaho’s first news outlets to Twitter. How are those tactics working?
We have a philosophy to be everywhere because people consume their news so many different ways. We’re trying to put news out as broadly as we can. We’re on MSNBC.COM and people can choose to put that on FaceBook or whatever. We have a well developed mobile presence and we share links with CNN. We want to make it easy for people to get their news any way they want. And I always wish we could do more.

What drives you to so closely follow what’s going on in the news industry?
The industry has the important responsibility to let people know what’s going on in the world.

You have a long history as a member of the Idaho Press Club. What made you take the leap onto the board of directors? I think it’s important for journalists in Idaho to have an opportunity to connect and to learn from each other. The club has produced forums that provide opportunities to learn about the industry and to learn from colleagues. It’s an important role for us to spread the knowledge around. When we get together like this, there’s a greater sense of community among colleagues.