Skip to comments.More Cuts Coming, 'Chicago Tribune' CEO Says (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 02/07/2009 8:20:19 AM PST by abb
In a memo to employees Friday, Chicago Tribune Media Group CEO Tony Hunter said there will be more job reductions at the flagship Trib and siblings such as RedEye as the company takes decisive action to cut cost.
Hunter wrote that the unspecified changes -- including streamlining the product portfolio -- will result in people leaving the organization over the next few weeks, though he did not say how many and from what departments. The memo was first reported by Crain's Chicago Business in a Web article by Meghan Streit.
Last year the Trib shrank its newsroom by about 70 positions by buyouts, attrition and layoffs.
The Chicago Tribune will also try to increase circulation revenue with higher home delivery charges, Hunter said.
Tribune Co. last month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and individual newspapers have been announcing staff reductions and other cost-saving measures in recent weeks. The Los Angeles Times last week announced a reduction of some 300 positions.
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These a-holes endorsed “0.”
I hope they go bankrupt in the worst way.
Did ANY of the ignorant b@$t@rds that run the Chicago Tribune EVER have instruction in the basic economic concept of elasticity of demand?? Anybody?? Bueller?? Bueller??
Brother, can you spare me a TIME
TV Bracing for Second-Quarter Cancellations
‘Leakage’ as High as 12%, Compared With Typical 2% to 4%
by Brian Steinberg
Published: February 06, 2009
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Hit hard by the flailing economy, advertisers are indicating they will cancel a larger-than-usual portion of their upfront TV buys in the second quarter, according to ad buyers and media executives.
Advertisers commit the majority of their ad budgets to TV in May and June, then have the right to cancel a portion of that promised money during an options window prior to each fiscal quarter. For the 2008-2009 season, marketers committed $9.2 billion to the broadcast TV networks and $7.5 billion to cable. Buyers have said the percentage of advertiser upfront commitments that are canceled, also known as “leakage,” typically amounts to 2% to 4% each quarter. The consensus is that cancellations for the second quarter of 2009 could come in between 8% and 12% — and in some cases even higher.
Buyers and media outlets are in the midst of negotiating, and TV networks have extended the window to cancel options well into February and, in some cases, March; typically decisions are made in mid-January. So there’s bound to be lots of posturing until decisions are made.
“Are people panicking? Or are buyers excited about getting discounts?” asked Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Michael Nathanson. “The big unanswered question is: What gets recycled back into the marketplace?”
The dust likely won’t settle until late winter or early spring.
Taking a gamble
Advertisers may be taking a gamble by pulling funds. All the networks have shown double-digit percentage declines in household ratings, according to analyst from Wachovia Capital Markets — except for CBS, which had increased its live-plus-same-day household ratings 2% as of the week ending Jan. 18.
When the networks have fewer ratings points to sell, advertisers need to buy more time in order to reach the same number of consumers they did a year earlier. That means supply is tightening even as advertisers threaten to draw money out of the market. Scatter prices in this case would hold steady, and networks may not be able to accommodate every marketing plan cobbled together on an as-needed basis.
That isn’t slowing down the threat that marketers could take money back. At one large media-buying shop, the expectation is that a greater percentage than usual will be taken out of broadcast-network prime time. In cable, a smaller number of options probably will be exercised, the buyer said, but some of that money could end up put back into broadcast.
Media buyers said the large consumer-package-goods companies are taking back money in order to have it closer at hand. The companies aren’t necessarily going to cut back on ad spending, buyers said, but they’d rather have the money in their own coffers, able to let it out dollar by dollar as needed, rather than keep it tied up elsewhere.
Scripps Networks Interactive, which operates the Food Network and other cable outlets, said Feb. 5 that the percentage of upfront cancellations is running in the low double digits, as opposed to cancellation rates of 2% to 5% in the first quarter.
Speaking to investors on a conference call held by investment-bank Credit Suisse First Boston on Feb. 6, Mel Berning, A&E Networks exec VP-national ad sales, said second-quarter option cancellations could come in at about 10% across cable. Top-tier outlets have been able to maintain scatter pricing, he said, but scatter at other places is down by percentages in the mid-single digits. Mr. Berning said it was difficult to figure out how much money was being reclaimed because of business problems and how much because advertisers are trying to play out the marketplace.
TV executives this week also pointed to advertising softness in the fourth quarter, with more cancellations than expected. Speaking on a conference call with investors and the media on Feb. 5, News Corp. President-Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin said the company expected fourth-quarter cancellations to “end up” at about 11%, and saw 7% to 8% in the third quarter. “And so, we’re seeing an increase, but not increase all that dramatically,” he said. Scatter, or ad inventory purchased closer to air date, has been holding at or above upfront prices, he said.
~ ~ ~
Marissa Miley contributed to this report.
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This is the typical drugged out liberal business plan when their business is going down the drain: Provide less of a product/service and charge more for less!
“The Chicago Tribune will also try to increase circulation revenue with higher home delivery charges, Hunter said.”
This works in three ways:
1. Drives away more customers.
2. Puts more of an economic burden on loyal customers paying more for less.
3. Decreases the cash flow into the failing business even more.
I respectfully disagree. This is an environmental blessing. Raising the costs of delivery will result in further drops in circulation, thereby decreasing the numbers of trees that must be murdered to create the paper the “news” is printed on. Also, the carbon footprints of the huge logging trucks, that spew their exhaust into the air will be shut down. Oh—wow. No they ARE nuts.
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The only hope I see for the Tribune company is Lee Abrams, who left XM Satellite Radio to become “Chief Innovation Officer” for Randy Michaels and Sam Zell. Abrams is a very savvy guy with lots of imagination, and while I don’t know if he can turn this battleship in a bathtub, I’d bet he will come as close as any human could. The question is not one of preserving the newspaper as it always has been, that’s already been determined. The question is, will traditional newspaper companies be able to re-invent themselves or suffer the fate of many others who have failed to make the jump to the next generation of technology. (aka “The Innovators Dilemma”...who among us has Seagate hard drives or Zip Drives anymore?)
Paper information distribution systems (formerly known as newspapers and magazines) cannot technologically compete any more. Used to, they were the only system that could deliver a durable advertisement from vendor to customer. Electronic broadcast information distribution systems (formerly known as television or radio) could not deliver durable ads, but they had the advantage of national reach and moving pictures.
The internet can produce ads with both durability and moving pictures. Additionally, it has the advantage of more precisely targeting potential customers.
The only reason broadcast (paper and electronic) were money-makers was because they were monopolies.
That time has come and gone.
You're right. Later this afternoon...
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