Chattanooga Times Free Press helps readers decide what to eat next with paid newsletter initiative


Here's an idea to steal and adapt: The Chattanooga Times Free Press launched a newsletter that delivers useful news to local food lovers.

Question: What problem were you trying to solve, and why was that problem strategically important to your organization?

Answer: For years, we published a weekly food newsletter called Savor. It was staid, monotonous and unremarkable. It was the newsletter version of a Wednesday food section in a legacy print paper — with lots of recipes and predictable stories about topics like what to do with blueberries now that it’s blueberry season. 

Chattanooga has a small but vibrant and growing restaurant scene and a food culture we were not reflecting or doing justice to in the newsletter. No other news outlet in Chattanooga was adequately covering food, either. 

We knew Chattanoogans wanted quality information about the innovative, buzzy food scene. Most importantly, we knew people wanted news that would be useful to local food lovers. 

We created a newsletter called What to Eat Next. We hoped this new product would attract people who were not currently reading our newspaper. The goal is to get them to subscribe to the newsletter or, even better, subscribe to the paper. We figured food could be a good introductory topic. 

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