Business & Finance

TAPinto Founder, Mike Shapiro, Speaks of Future of Media at Recent Suburban Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Dr. Patrick Smith presented Mike Shapiro, Suburban Chamber Chairman, with $1,000 check from the Smith Chiropractic Foundation to be used for annual scholarships given to area high school seniors. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Mike Shapiro, Founder and CEO of presented the state of media to the room full of local business people at this month's First Friday Breakfast. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Mike Shapiro explained the decline in print advertising. Credits: Bobbie Peer

SUMMIT, NJ - Michael Shapiro, Chairman of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, had a dual role as the speaker -- providing the state of the changing world of media -- at this month's First Friday networking breakfast at the Grand Summit Hotel. 

Shapiro, Founder and CEO of, told the room of 40 local businessmen that media is changing dramatically. Hard copy newspaper circulations have fallen by 58 percent since 2003, said Shapiro. 

Why is this happening and what is happening as a result of this?

Sign Up for E-News

Advertising is moving from hard copy to online due to advertisers wanting to be where the eyeballs are. Everybody is on their phone and that is how they are getting their news. Shapiro confirmed that 67 percent of TAPinto's readership is coming from mobile devises. 

As a result of this -- some newspapers are going out of business or going online. "Local papers are getting bought out -- those companies are gutting the newsrooms," said Shapiro. "They are gutting newsrooms to be as profitable as possible." To stay alive, the papers are regionalizing their coverage and becoming less and less local, he said. "Their motivation is profit, secondary motivation is covering the town," Shapiro added.

Coverage is becoming less local with fewer journalists on the ground covering the local news, State and County news. "There was a time in Union County where there were three reporters from Star Ledger covering County news -- not anymore. Most publications covering the State House are down to one reporter. You don't hear as much about what is going on in Trenton."

Out of New Jersey's 566 municipalities, over 100 municipalities do not have a local paper. "What is impacting media is impacting democracy," said Shapiro. "It isn't just New Jersey, it impacts the whole country."

"What I am aiming to do is to create a nationwide model for sustainable local journalism," said Shapiro. "It's really important for everybody in this room and everyone throughout the country to have sustainable journalism -- without it, democracy suffers.", launched in 2008 as The Alternative Press in three towns [Summit, New Providence and Berkeley Heights] as an all online hyperlocal news source. Since franchising in 2013, currently has 65 sites across New Jersey and five in New York.  "We are at 5.9 million unique readers," said Shapiro, "We are the only scalable profitable newspaper in New Jersey." 

The TAPinto Roselle/Roselle Park site was launched in February of 2014.

Our goal is to have 250 sites by the end of 2020 with a presence in communities throughout the country, he said. "It's a matter of time until we break out of New Jersey and New York where we currently are."

Shapiro credits TAPinto for people getting more involved and engaged in their communities. "When you have a good local paper, it brings the community together. It impacts the very fabric of all of our towns." 

Shapiro also explained the benefit of marketing through TAPinto -- offering a marketing platform that provides businesses the ability to gain targeted exposure through advertising, content marketing, sponsorship, eNews marketing, eBlast marketing, in-app and push sponsorship, as well as site monetization. 

To learn more about site franchising or marketing with contact Mike Shapiro at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

Roselle Chamber of Commerce to Host Women’s History Month Event

March 19, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - It will be an evening of honoring the trailblazing women leaders in business at the Roselle Chamber of Commerce event honor of Women’s History Month.

Joetta Clark Diggs, New Jersey’s four-time Olympian, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Businesswoman will be the featured guest speaker.

The event is free and will be held on Thursday, March 22 at the ...

Free Citizenship Workshop to be Held This Saturday in Elizabeth

ELIZABETH, NJ - A free Citizenship Workshop will be held this Saturday, March 24, at the Santa Isabel Lutheran Church from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. located at 908 East Jersey Street in Elizabeth.

The Citizenship Drive is an annual event that assists eligible residents to apply for naturalization. Immigration attorneys will be present to screen eligibility and trained volunteers will assist in the ...

Wastewater Sewerage Authority Looking for Treatment Plant Operator

LINDEN/ROSELLE, NJ - The Linden/Roselle Sewerage Authority is seeking to fill a position for a Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant Operator.  

This is a full-time position that entails shift work, 7 days a week. Candidate must have a High School diploma or obtained equivalency; possession of a valid S-1 New Jersey Wastewater Operators License is preferred but not ...

Teacher Training at Trailside

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ  - Teacher Training programs at Trailside will be offered this spring for teachers of students in Kindergarten through grade twelve starting March 15.

Project WET, a teacher training program for teachers K – 12 will be offered on Thurs. March 15 from 9 a.m.. to 3 p.m.  This workshop will provide the necessary tools, resources, and lessons for teachers ...

Daylight Savings Time Begins this Weekend - Remember to Turn Your Clocks Forward

ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The winter months are about to come to an end. You know spring is definitely around the corner when Daylight Savings Time begins. A reminder to everyone to turn your clocks forward one hour tonight when you go to bed. Daylight Savings time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. 

While many will dread losing that hour of sleep, that extra hour of daylight ...

Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday morning, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ...

Totowa Rapper Accused of Trying to Bring Loaded Gun Through Security at Newark Airport

March 12, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. – Rapper Juelz Santana, a resident of Totowa, faces weapon charges after allegedly trying to get a loaded firearm through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The rapper, whose real name is LaRon L. James, 36, surrendered to police this morning. He has been charged with  one count of possession of a firearm by a ...

Union County Celebrates Arbor Day 2018 with Free Trees for Schools

March 20, 2018

In recognition of Arbor Day 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again partnering with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board to sponsor the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Program, which provides free trees for participating schools.

“The Arbor Day tree planting program is a Union County tradition that provides students with important hands-on lessons about the ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...