News, an ever Evolving Industry


DENVER – 2:00 P.M. Friday, May 13, 2016

By Philip R. Wilkinson


Tim Ryan at 9News Denver, CO  Image by Philip R. Wilkinson

Walking through the doors to 9News I was met by Tim Ryan, a News Manager for 9News Denver.  As we walked through the news floor there was a sense that employees were counting down till the weekend.  However, Ryan was calm and collected as he explained the basics of his operation.

As a News Manager Ryan is responsible for helping his new staff develop their stories and news shows while keeping a general eye on the reporting staff.  He first became a news director 25 years ago after being an on-air reporter and while he enjoyed reporting, Ryan wanted to have a larger influence on the news so he switched over to the managerial side of 9News.

Ryan is not afraid of reporting controversial news from any beat even if it involves sponsors.  This freedom is what makes Ryan enjoy his profession, which in turn makes him good at it.

Freedom to explore expression is important to Ryan, to the point where he would not be happy;

“If I worked for an organization that only covered politics, or only covered entertainment, or only covered sports, or only covered a particular thing.” – Tim Ryan

It is important to enjoy one’s work or else the days become a monotonous grind, however when one is doing work that they enjoy their potential can come to fruition.

Another highlight of the news industry for Ryan is being around all of the people on his news team and just listening to their ideas

Ryan grew up on a farm in Missouri that was two hours from the nearest city.  From a young age Ryan was interested in the news industry and although;

“Nobody in my family was in Journalism, but I was on the school newspaper staff in High School.” – Tim Ryan

Ryan continued to be interested in the news industry and when he reached college he decided to pursue a journalism degree for his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia graduating in 1985.  After his undergraduate career Ryan took his first job as an on-air reporter where he worked for ten years.

After nearly a decade reporting Ryan decided that his future was in managing and in 1991 Ryan took his first managerial position.  During his time as a manager Ryan realized that he needed a greater understanding of past and present global views.  In order to ensure he could do this, Ryan went back to school and received his graduate degree in history from the University of Colorado, Denver.  When he graduated again in 1997 Ryan was now ready to fully start his career as a news manager.

After speaking about his history in the industry Ryan spent the last part of the interview speaking to the evolving nature of the new industry.  This is because the industry is forced to find new ways to monetize at any opportunity because,

“It’s harder and harder to keep a good audience size to support us economically.”

–Tim Ryan

While the 9News website receives more viewers than any of their new shows, it generates the least amount of revenue.  This means that 9News is reliant on on-air advertisement to support all their news services.  While Ryan does not always accept advertiser ideas, like native advertisement, he believes that the evolving nature of news is “both exciting and occasionally disconcerting.”

“It is important for news organizations to remain separate from advertiser’s influence but it is getting harder because it is getting harder to monetize.” – Tim Ryan


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