The Washington Capitals: We Are A Media Company

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Larry Kramer is the Founder and Former CEO of CBS Marketwatch.com. He was the first president of CBS Digital and sits on the Boards of Discovery Communications, Inc., American Media Inc., Freedom Communications, Inc., Answers Corp., Black Arrow Inc., and Harvard Business School Publishing. He is the author of the upcoming book C-Scape: Conquer the Forces Changing Business Today and runs a blog by the same name.

A central theme of C-Scape is that every company will have to become a media company in order to build the kind of relationships it will need with its constituents. At a panel on owning a sports team in Washington today, Washington Capitals hockey team owner Ted Leonsis and Washington Redskins NFL team owner Dan Snyder enthusiastically agreed with that conclusion, according to a report from the Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Blogger Dan Steinberg.

“The connection between the fan and his or her team is what it’s all about,” said Snyder. Former AOL (NYSE:AOL) biggie Leonsis added: “I’m an extrovert, and I get my energy and my input from fans. I think this new media is like oxygen. Get used to it. I think that there is no more steering wheel in the hand of The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO). I used to live in mortal fear about what you would write. Now, I don’t care.”

“I think it’s something that you need to internalize: that we’re our own media company. I announce things on my blog. I get 40 to 90,000 people coming to my blog, depending on the subject. I have a direct, unfiltered way to reach our audience now, and I think that harnessing that is what you have to do as ownership, because we are media brands. We’re in the subscription business. We call them season-ticket holders. We’re in the sponsorship business. We’re in the same business [as The Post]. When someone goes to find out something about me or a team or a player, and they go to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and they type that in, I want to learn how to get the highest on the list, and I’ve done that. I don’t want The Washington Post to get the most clicks. I want the most clicks.”

Larry Kramer is the Founder and Former CEO of CBS Marketwatch.com. He was the first president of CBS Digital and sits on the Boards of Discovery Communications, Inc., American Media Inc., Freedom Communications, Inc., Answers Corp., Black Arrow Inc., and Harvard Business School Publishing. He is the author of the upcoming book C-Scape: Conquer the Forces Changing Business Today and runs a blog by the same name.

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