Earlier this month, the artist now formerly known as the Tribune Publishing Company rebranded itself as “tronc.” While the makeover entertained Twitter for a solid two hours (“tronc if you’re horny”), it also distracted from the fact that Tronc’s new strategy — which included moving its stock exchange listing to Nasdaq and launching troncX, a “content curation and monetization engine” — was underexplained, at best.
This morning, Tronc’s rebrand became official. To celebrate, the company sent an informational video to all of its employees. Great, you might be thinking. An HR-distributed video featuring two executives will clear up all of my burning questions about Tronc. Surprisingly, however, the new clip, which features Tronc execs Malcolm CasSelle and Anne Vasquez, doesn’t exactly spell things out very clearly. So instead, we at Select All have created this handy translation as to what in the ever-loving tronc they are talking about and what that means for you.
“This is the future of journalism. The future of content. If you care about media and technology this is the place to be.”
Translation: Tronc is cool and cutting-edge.
“tronc stands for Tribune online content, and it also means pooling of resources.”
Translation: Tronc is more than just an ill-advised rebranding — it’s also an ill-advised reorganization.
“It’s about meeting in the middle having a tech startup culture meet a legacy corporate culture and then evolving and changing and that’s really the fun part.”
Translation: Lots of people are going to get laid off, but your office might get a a few bean-bag chairs.
“We have great titles and we produce tons of great content every single day. We’re really focused on how we deliver it to people in a way that they want to consume it more and more.”
Translation: Pretty sure this just means video. And when you’re done with that, even more video.
“One of the key ways we’re going to harness the power of our journalism is to have a optimization group. This tronc team will work with all of the local markets to harness the power of our local journalism, feed it into a funnel and then optimize it so that we reach the biggest global audience possible.”
Translation: We’re going to take content from each individual Tronc-owned outlet and syndicate it to other Tronc outlets. We’ll use the map from Star Fox to illustrate this because a video of one of the machines that makes chicken nuggets would be too gross.
“The key to making our content really valuable to the broadest possible audience is to use machine learning to maximize all the time. Artificial intelligence is going to allow journalists to do their jobs more efficiently, finding the right photos the videos, the databases, the things you package your stories with.”
Translation: We’re going to replace many of the people who get laid off with “artificial intelligence,” which means those that remain will be asked to churn out more work in the same amount of time as they did in the years Bt (Before Tronc).
“Ultimately those efficiencies will help us produce more content, better content. That will make stories much more visual, much for exciting. Today, that is what people expect.”
Translation: We’re going to make more video.
“Right now, we’re averaging about 16% of our article pages have the type of video player that we can monetize. By 2017 we need to get to 50% of our article pages have a Brightcove video player attached to it.”
Translation: Waayyyyy more video.
“The CPM [cost per impression] that we can earn with a video or visualized content is significantly higher than a page without it, and that’s the reason why we have to raise these numbers. It will significantly increase our annual revenue per user. ”
Translation: We can make a lot more money from video ads than from regular display ads, so we’re going to add video to everything.
“We’re a content company, first, last, and always. The role of tronc is to transform journalism, from pixels to Pulitzers.”
Translation: Tronc is a the future of media. Tronc transcends time, space, and page-view metrics. If you want to win a Pulitzer, you should probably continue working at Tronc.