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If Mark Cuban could change your sports section, here's what he'd do:

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by enigami, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I'm late to this party, as always, but thought this would be a good time to share a recent anecdote about profit margin.

    I work in a community that was nearly devastated by a natural disaster a few years ago. At that time and in the weeks that followed (yes, the paper still printed, with help from a nearby town), sales of the paper were through the roof and the annual review showed a ridiculous profit margin.

    Word came down a few weeks ago from corporate that the goal for our paper is to return to the sales level of that year. You did it then, you can do it again, they said. How can the suits honestly expect everyday BFE news to compete with a natural disaster?

    There is absolutely no consideration given to the editorial product when it comes to the spreadsheets.
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That sounds a little weird. On an average newspaper, circulation revenue accounts for only about 25 percent of the gross, advertising 75 percent. Very little of the circulation revenue will be profit because most of the cover price goes for paper and ink. You sell more papers, you need more newsprint and ink. So you'd have to sell an awful lot of papers to significantly affect the bottom line, especially since your advertisers were hit hard by a natural disaster, too, maybe even shut down for a while. I know Newhouse said its New Orleans paper took a tremendous financial hit from its natural disaster. Miami did, too -- although the Herald usually delivers the paper for free as a public service after a hurricane. Papers usually don't profit from their community being in ruins. I wonder if they are giving it to you straight.
  3. DavidPoole

    DavidPoole Member

    I understand Frank's points, and agree with some of them. I don't, however, think we can treat other media like our enemies. I used to work at a place where it took them a long, long time to even agree to run TV listings and do a Sunday TV weekly book because a couple of old guard guys thought that was free advertising for the competition. When I worked there, we NEVER did any features section stories on TV shows or stuff like that. It was a "head-in-the-sand" approach.
    I don't think the web site should just be the paper online. That's giving away the paper and creating a bad web site. What we need to show our customers is that we're experts at gathering information and getting it to them. That means audio and video as well as the written word, sure. We can do more on the web than we can in print. It's like weather. We can give them a forecast in the paper, but we can give them radar on the web. As long as they KNOW they can get it from us, why does it matter? If they don't come to us, they'll go to somebody else. It's not like people are looking for LESS information than they have been, at least not in my mind.
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    And the Grateful Dead station is still around too...


  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Crapsticks. I was about to post the NY article on a new thread, but Frank beat me to it.
    Good read by the way.
    It made me think of the Star Trek movie where all the reporters had video camera helmets (headbands?) and people got point of view reporting as the reporters covered a press conference for a ship launch.
  7. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

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