1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

If You Were To Start A Newspaper Today

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Boom_70, May 5, 2009.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Reading the Buffet thread made me wonder what the business model would be to start a newspaper today that would make someone like Warren Buffet want to invest in.

    Hypothetically speaking let's say you have the funding and decided to start up a newspaper in a major metropolitan area. What would be your business model to create a successful profitable newspaper?

    What city would you look at for a paper?

    How many employees would you need including reporters?

    What would be your annual overall operating budget?

    How much would you need to charge for the paper?

    What kind of daily circulation would you need to breakeven
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Small town. One or two reporters. Ad salesman and one or two production staff people. Print the paper somewhere else.

    Budget of $350,000 tops. And I wouldn't be a daily, just a weekly with a circulation of 2,000 to 4,000. Charge $1.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Makes sense. Seems like local advertisers could generate a fair amount of revenue.

    If your circulation is around 4000 you would generate about $200,000 from the paper sales.

    What is a reasonable revenue projection for weekly ad revenue?
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Look at the newspapers for sale at http://www.mna.org/mna-resources/job-opportunities.html

    How can a weekly make only $100k in sales. Are they just giving ads away or not collecting?
  5. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    If I were to start a newspaper today ...

    It wouldn't be a printed one, for starters.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    So Web based ?
  7. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Isn't it the future? Yes. If I were launching a "newspaper," it would be on the interwebs. Because I would have very little overhead, it would not be terribly painful to fail. I haven't thought about a business plan enough to get much beyond that.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Of course, a big part of the problem with our business today is that it is virtually impossible to make money on the interwebs. Or, at least, it appears that way.
  9. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    For a weekly paper with 3000 - 4000 Circulation could you average $15,000 weekly for ad revenue?
  10. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Yes, but we're also still trying to prop up the print product, which costs a fortune to produce, while watching our print ad revenue diminish. We're waiting for the online ad revenue to bail out the expensive print product, which probably isn't going to happen. The online ad dollars might not be what we're used to, but if your overhead is next to nothing, they suddenly look a lot more plentiful.

    If you're launching a new paper, and you're going the print route, I think you're crazy.
  11. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I'd follow the basic editorial thrust of Tiger Beat, but I'd make it all about that fab, gear President Obama.
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I still think it depends on the market. If you're talking a small community, I think the print product can still work. Sports-wise, you emphasize preps. Mommies and daddies want to see their kid's name in the paper, not the computer screen.

    I've worked in places where people wouldn't get online for their local news to save their lives. The towns just weren't that tech-savvy.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page