Since starting The Ruden Report seven years ago, traffic has remained on a steady upward trajectory. This year was headed for over two million pageviews before the interruption due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tremendous response has been humbling. And now there are just two print media outlets reporting on the FCIAC at a time when the demand for high school sports news has never been greater.
It was apparent to me before March 10, when the last high school games were played in the state, that media companies need to think differently to survive. They no longer can be sustained solely from advertising revenue. Paywalls, with the exception of major national outlets, don’t work. I do not want to go to a subscription model. Student-athletes should not have to pay to read about themselves. I don’t want to limit access to the site.
I also want to continue to give the many high school and college students that work for me life-skill experiences assisting with social media, videography, writing and photography.
I had looked into many ways to grow the company, and with the events of the past four months, now how to just maintain it.
The best path forward, I believe, is to reach out to all FCIAC cities and towns to become community supported. I think many of you who appreciate what I do, not just with coverage but also recognizing athletes with my Player and Team of the Week awards, would like to see The Ruden Report not only continue to operate, but also give you more of what you enjoy.
So I am reaching out to everyone associated with the sports programs at FCIAC schools to bridge the gap between advertising revenue and operating expenses. I have covered the league for 36 years and love all the athletes, coaches, administrators and readers. This deck will explain the reason for the philosophical change and how the money raised will be used.
Thank you for your consideration,