Focus on members

A few minutes with...Cameron Nutting Williams

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Cameron Nutting Williams
Cameron Nutting Williams

Q. So what do you do, Cameron Nutting Williams?
A. I am the director of strategic initiatives for The Nutting Company, which is the holding company for the family businesses, including Ogden Newspapers. A lot of the work I do is on the newspaper and publishing side of the company. I'm focused on growth projects - much of that has been through acquisitions, but it also involves new products we're launching. My position is a horizontal role, so if, for instance, we're launching a new revenue-focused program at our resorts, I'd focus on that in the same way we do for the papers.

Q. Ogden most recently acquired The Frederick (Md.) News-Post from another longtime newspaper family, the Randalls. What was your role in that transaction?
A.
At Frederick I was on site during the due diligence period, and stayed on after the purchase to help integrate their operations into our group. It was a similar process after the Provo acquisition (The Daily Herald in Utah). I'll be on site for four to six months getting to know the team, integrating systems and looking for opportunities to expand on the things the paper is doing best.

Q. You say there's a benefit to acquisitions even beyond the obvious ones of getting the business and adding a revenue stream.
A.
One of the best things about making acquisitions is we meet really good people and get to add their energy & ideas to our team. There are also existing programs that we can expand. For example, as a part of the the Uniontown acquisition we took on SWC Realty, a real estate partnership with the paper, and BeLocal, a local B2B network. We'll be rolling both programs out across our papers.

Q. Of course, The Nutting Company has a diverse portfolio aside from newspapers, including the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and resort properties in western Pennsylvania. Do you think that diversity is a key to a newspaper company's future success?
A.
My dad (Bob Nutting) made a very conscious decision to diversify. I think it's essential for our future. It makes the company more vibrant and we are all better operators because we can share knowledge across divisions. Having diverse holdings offers more opportunities for the next-gen to participate in the family business.

Q. Speaking of the family business, was going into newspapers something you wanted as a career?
A.
I really wasn't sure. When I got out of college, I spent some time in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, newsroom (The News-Sentinel). Then I spent the next few years in grad school and exploring tech.
At each of my startups we were trying to solve hard problems-and one of them was actually trying to help small business owners in many of the ways newspapers have for centuries. Eventually I realized that if I was going to try to solve hard problems my family had a few right in our backyard, and I wanted to help however I could. I think it might have come as a surprise to some people.

Q. At last month's Annual Meeting, you formally joined the Inland Press Association board.
A.
I'm really excited and honored to join the board. I was introduced to Inland through the Family Owners Conference. I went to my first conference right after college. I love talking with other family owners. There's a real sense of camaraderie, and there are topics we get into that I never discuss with anyone else. Inland provides a safe place for that.

I think the whole Inland community is very supportive, very open with each other about the successes they're having, and also what's going badly. They have been hugely helpful to me, offering, "Come on over to our paper," or sharing how a program of theirs works. I think Inland does a particularly good job in areas such as benchmarking-which we use in Fort Wayne -and with the storytelling at conferences. It's also gratifying to remember that our industry plays a serious and important roll in democracy. I always leave Inland events reinvigorated with good ideas and a reminder that in journalism there's a high calling we're working toward.