Podcast: John Yedinak on Running a Network of Aging-Related Publications
John Yedinak is co-founder and President at Aging Media, a vertical media company focused on the business of aging. With so many people retiring every single day and few b2b companies covering the space well, John and his brother saw an opportunity to grow into multiple verticals over the years and have even more growth ahead of them.
- The newsletter will include a heavy focus on Capitol Hill reporting, given the expertise of the trio, but it’s not designed to be a carbon copy of Politico’s flagship newsletter Playbook.
- The new venture will include other offerings aside from the newsletter.
- Sherman and Palmer have been soliciting emails via social media to get set up quickly after they depart.
In this episode, we discussed many topics, but a few things jumped out to me…
On their editorial framework
Their framework is predicated on doing exclusive news and analysis that people can’t get anywhere else. The goal here is to make the Aging Media sites must read. To do that, they apply a rating to their stories.
Stories receive either a B, B+ or A rating, where A are the types of stories that are completely unique. This is important because many of his competitors wait for the story; otherwise known as getting a press release.
At Aging Media, they don’t write the press release. Instead, they’re actively seeking out stories, which is why they’ve broken some really major stories in their industries.
On launching into new verticals
One of the reasons they have been so successful is they now have a playbook for launching new sites that makes it very easy to both manage and scale.
The majority of the sites are run on WordPress MU, which means they can launch a new vertical in ten minutes. They modify the colors for branding, but besides that, it’s all the same tech.
On the staff side, they seek out an editor and a couple writers to form the core of any new publication. The nice thing is, that’s where most of the staff growth comes into play. The back office and operations doesn’t need to scale linearly with the number of new verticals.
On events going forward
John talked quite a bit about how they had to make the pivot to virtual events and the composition of those conferences. Some are purely sponsor driven and others have attendee revenue as well.
But looking forward, they’ve viewed Covid as an opportunity to reset and start planning for the future. For Aging Media, they’re not making any big swings in 2021, but are already planning physical events in 2022.
What he does believe—and I share this belief—is that people want to travel again. The idea that events are dead is not a reality. People are looking for that human connection and once they feel safe to travel and corporate policies allow for it, they’ll start attending.