Skip to comments.Newspaper reinventing and evolving (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 10/23/2006 1:40:17 PM PDT by abb
The newspaper industry is in the midst of a historic and fundamental transition, propelled by lasting changes in lifestyle, technology and commerce.
It will never be the way it was.
That sentiment is not exactly new, though many of you -- and quite a few of us in the industry -- long for the days when the newspaper alone can again be everything to everyone.
Yet several events combined last week to underscore the point that those days are gone forever -- and the business model that has sustained us for so long has to be reinvented.
Quarterly earnings reports from several publicly traded newspaper companies -- including the New York Times Co., Tribune Co. and the McClatchy Co. -- indicated further weakening on the revenue side of the business.
``This is uncharted territory -- it will be the first time ever ad revenues are down in a nonrecessionary year,'' Paul Ginocchio, a Deutsche Bank analyst, told the Wall Street Journal in a story published Friday.
Staff reductions were finalized at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, announced at The (San Jose) Mercury News and forecast for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.
Today, the Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer and the two Philadelphia newspapers are all privately owned -- meaning that newspapers are facing the same problem regardless of their ownership structure.
The seeds of these changes were sown long ago. Alberto Ibarguen, the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, left this pearl of wisdom when he visited the Akron Roundtable last week: The advent of radio and television was less responsible for the drop in daily newspaper readership than the rise in women working outside the home.
Newspaper companies are not alone. NBC Universal last week announced that it is laying off 700 people, most in the network's news division, and turning to reality and game shows in the 8 p.m. time slot to save money. One-time Internet darling AOL Time Warner announced layoffs as well.
These sound like the words of a pessimist. I've had those days, particularly when we've had to say farewell to longtime colleagues such as copy desk stalwarts Jim Kavanagh and Debby Stock Kiefer, who chose to leave the newspaper in our own staff reductions.
We can't cut our way to profitability. But we can't survive by doing things the way we have been. That's where realism, optimism and determination comes in.
We are engaged in nothing less than a battle to preserve local journalism, help local advertisers grow their businesses and help our community thrive and prosper.
That battle will be joined on several fronts, including last week's announcement that the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com will be joining with Monster.com to bolster our online classified advertising presence.
The combination of the newspaper and Ohio.com are just the starting point as we transform our business to meet the challenges ahead. Hang on -- I can't promise you the ride will be a smooth one -- but it will be interesting!
From Mickey to Rich
The process of change sometimes means letting go of what was and embracing something new.
I've heard from many of you on the topic of Porter's People, a labor of love by the Beacon Journal's Mickey Porter. Porter's People will be no more, though Mickey is still around. We're talking about what he'll do next.
In its place comes The HeldenFiles, a new column by popular culture writer Rich Heldenfels.
Rich will bring his own unique take to music, movies and television -- and highlight some oddball stories along the way. He's also here to find the answers to your burning questions on entertainment topics. His new column debuts today.
Contact Managing Editor Mizell Stewart III at 330-996-3507. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can't cut our way to profitability. But we can't survive by doing things the way we have been.
More likely propelled by an unsympathetic blogasphere that insists they tell the truth rather than the predigested pablum they normally regurgitate.
Bleeding customers and hundreds of millions of dollars, is not the kind of "re-invention and evolution" newspaper shareholders need.
I hope this clown is one of the Dinosaur mediots favorite advisors with this bs passing as wisdom:
"The seeds of these changes were sown long ago. Alberto Ibarguen, the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, left this pearl of wisdom when he visited the Akron Roundtable last week: The advent of radio and television was less responsible for the drop in daily newspaper readership than the rise in women working outside the home."
Women flooded the workplaces two decades ago and into this decade. The Newspaper problems didn't really start until 2000 and went into high gear after 2004. The political stances of these left wing liars has driven away millions of GW voters. That may be biggest factor besides the internet and conservative talk radio beating the old MSM with faster and more reliable news 24/7/365.
I wonder what grade Mizell Stewart III is in?
"We can't cut our way to profitability."
Of course you can. The fact you don't understand the basics of business administration doesn't change them at all.
I can't wait for the day that I can explain to my grandkids what a "newspaper" was.
Although I would bet a dollar that you believe the Government can tax it's way to prosperity.
Translation:We're going to continue to dump our liberal sewage into your home ,but were going to try a different way to do it.
It's too bad- there really is a market for hard-copy local news. Like most others, my "small town" NE Ohio rag is 90% bash-Bush and 10% obits.
You got that right.
I had trouble getting the Minneapolis Star Tribune to quit delivering free newspapers.
After many calls I got it stopped. I'm not sure if it was telling them I would call the police for repeated littering on my yard or my suggestion that I may leave a "free" ton of manure on their front step, whatever it was it finally worked.
LOL! The Akron BJ really is a cheezy commodity. No redeeming virtue that I can see. The irony is that all around Akron, in the small towns and municipalities, there are about three layers of local news sheets, trader and shopping tabloids, for lack of a better descriptive term, and even magazines which have been surviving for numerous years now, with heavy advertising by local small businesses, local sports and social news, and --local flavor. It's fun to see your own kids in the sports section, and those of your neighbors, and read about the folks down the street starting a new coffee house in town.
Rupert Murdoch told these people, at the ASNE last year, the way to survive is to go local. The lumbering mastodons like the BJ were too pompous to listen.
All they'd have to do is tell the truth in their reporting and balance their editorials, but they'd rather die than be honest. So be it.