Bad news

Just piling up the bad news for newspapers this week:

* Newspaper circulation continues to clog: “Industry sources who have seen the numbers tell E&P they anticipate that for the six months ending September 2006, top-line daily circulation will fall roughly 2.5% while Sunday will drop approximately 3%.”

* Newspaper advertising is declining: “Earnings from three big newspaper companies — Tribune Co., New York Times Co. and Belo Corp. — provided more dramatic evidence that print-advertising revenues have gone into decline after a long period of low growth. All three posted lower newspaper-advertising revenue in the third quarter compared with the year-earlier period, echoing results from most of the companies in the industry that have reported earnings in recent days. . . . Results in recent days have reinforced gloomy predictions coming from some analysts. Last week, Merrill Lynch cut its newspaper-ad revenue forecast for this year to flat from 1.2% growth and revised its 2007 forecast to a drop of 1.5%.”

* Those who thought they were saved from conglomerates and profit margins when they were bought by local owners were fooling themselves. Those papers are laying off: “The new owners of three former Knight Ridder newspapers announced layoffs, expected layoffs and abrupt changes in management yesterday as they painted a bleak outlook for the newspaper industry. . . ‘Newspaper publishers and owners across the country are saying that this has been the worst 90-day stretch that they have ever seen in the business,’ Mr. Tierney wrote. ‘They also universally believe that this reduced revenue picture will be a permanent part of the future of newspapers.’ ”

* There’s upheaval all over: NBC News cuts back. The Chicago Sun-Times appears to be for sale. The Toronto Star ousted its editor and publisher. Liberation’s future in France is in question.

That’s just one week.

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  • as a former journalist (as of last week) and a newspaper fan, it’s troubling to see how the industry is struggling to get on the web bandwagon. as a “pubilc service”, i a 5 “W”s post.

    cheers, mark

  • Isn’t it interesting that all of the former KR papers McClatchy unloaded are struggling, some horribly so (such as Philly), yet boosted by its KR acquisition, McClatchy revenue is up significantly?

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  • J.R.N.

    Newpapers need to change their mind-set about how they do buisness. A newspaper needs to be more than just a source information, it needs to be a bonding source for the community it serves. This means incorporating technology that brings companies and consumers together. At the NAA convention in Oklahoma this month there was a new solution called MyAdSource that could help with circulation and advertising. It is a partnership between several companies including:, Arcasearch, Adify, and Fake Brains. They are geared toward helping gain back advertising that is lost to the internet and such sites as craiglist. There are some amazing products that they offer to help newpapers overcome this “gloom” everyone is feeling. One amazing product is the first statewide print classified search, which means people will actually see all the print ads when they search online. Also, they have this technology to create web communities that incorporate many features to submit ads for products and services. They may be the answer problems print newspapers are facing. The way papers are declining it is time to look at any solutions that can help.

  • Finally I’ve found out the source of all those articles about News 2, Media 2 and other New Newspaper generation.

    And I agree with all web 2.0 popularity and the need of establishment of new media and newspapers. Which would be submitted and rated by users, therefore only popular news would be on a the main page. There is a News 2 website (, which has almost all concepts that were mentioned previously.

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