Who wants to be a newspaper millionaire?

By Steve Outing

Newspaper companies clearly need to create a stronger culture of innovation. So this employee incentive program from Gatehouse Media is a step in the right direction.

The idea is that any employee (or group of them) who can come up with a business idea for the company that makes $50 million in revenue by the end of 2010 will receive a $1 million bonus.

I have a couple different reactions to this:

1. Bravo, Gatehouse, for leveraging employees’ brainpower and encouraging them to think outside the box in order to take the company profitably into the future. I and many others have complained about the lack of R&D by traditional news companies, so this is a step in the right direction.

2. I have my doubts that Gatehouse will end up actually paying out the money. After all, if an employee has an idea for a $50 million business, why not quit and pursue the idea him/herself?

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!