Driftless Multimedia on How Public Notice Audits Improve Revenue and Efficiency

May 9, 2024

by Kevin Rehberg, VP, Client Development


Kate Klimesh, Driftless JournalPublic notices are an essential source of revenue for many local and regional news media companies. They are often mandated announcements that fulfill a legal obligation.

Depending on a state’s requirements, a newspaper may be required to provide proof of circulation. An audit by a third party like AAM can fulfill that requirement and help publications earn more revenue.

We recently sat down with Kate Klimesh, owner and editor at Driftless Multimedia, a media company based in Decorah, Iowa, that distributes news throughout northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota. Klimesh shared the importance of public notice revenue for her company and how an AAM audit helped her organization meet Minnesota’s requirements for publishing public notices, while shining a light on where her company could improve distribution efficiency.

AAM: What is your role at Driftless Multimedia?

Kate Klimesh: My family and I own the company. I am editor-in-chief and also take care of anything else that needs to be done, whether that's covering the news, managing ad sales, or training new employees.


AAM: Tell me about your company’s products.

Kate Klimesh: We have two print publications and a website. One is our local newspaper, distributed to paid subscribers in Decorah, the largest city in our area. We also have a shopper hybrid mailed weekly to 20,600 homes in southeast Minnesota. That publication has about 60% ads but includes many news and human-interest stories.


AAM: How significant is public notice revenue to your business?

Kate Klimesh: With the local, subscription-based newspaper, Iowa legal notices are about 12% of our revenue. The Minnesota legal notices are a new revenue stream for us and one that requires proof of circulation. Most of the notices we publish are DBA (doing business as) notices or public announcements companies need to make to conduct business under a name other than their legal name. If a company from out of state wants to do business in Minnesota, they must publish a notice in a newspaper closest to their home operating county. We needed an audit to bid on those requests.


AAM: How did the audit process improve your public notice business?

Kate Klimesh: I appreciated how organized we became because of the AAM audit. It illuminated where we needed to improve our internal communication and recordkeeping and helped ensure we were delivering the right number of copies to the correct locations. The audit also helped us keep an eye on the number of papers printed versus billed and allowed us to hold all our direct print product vendors accountable. It was great knowing exactly what was happening instead of assuming.


For more information about getting started with a public notice revenue audit, contact me at 224-366-6401 or kevin.rehberg@auditedmedia.com.


Topics: Interview, News Media

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