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Small town papers and virus

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by goalmouth, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    The publisher of my town's weekly is asking for subs on social media, stating "it is grave danger of going under" due to the virus interrupting local business. My town is a NYC city suburb and mostly affluent with many restaurants and a lively real estate market. Makes me wonder how pubs in less fortunate places are managing.
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

  3. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    At my shop, a "small town" daily paper of 15K circulation (was 20K in 2009), management kept saying they hadn't "found the floor" yet from the 2008 recession.

    Using that building analogy, I think the economic disruption of the coronavirus takes the newspaper's revenue down a couple more stories.
  4. Don't know if this counts as "small-town" (suburban Atlanta), but my shop just laid off two of the three-member full-time sports staff (myself included), a news staffer and several other non-editorial staff last week.
    maumann likes this.
  5. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear, dude. As someone who's been laid off three times at this point, take as much of that severance and unemployment as you can. In hindsight, I went back to work way too quick the first two times - I should have waited things out, and maybe even looked into a career change.
    SFIND, Dr. Van Nostrand and maumann like this.
  6. Should've mentioned that the chain cleaned out a lot of the sports personnel (and probably other positions) at our sister papers, as well. A lot of my peers lost their jobs, though there is at least some hope some of us might return once the crisis passes.
  7. Mr._Graybeard

    Mr._Graybeard New Member

    As a news-side retiree I've been watching the Adams Publishing Group buy papers in Wisconsin over the past few years, including two small dailies I subscribe to. This week the company announced it was cutting hourly workers to 30 hours a week and reducing salaried workers' pay 25%. I believe those cuts are across the board at all of Adams' 120-plus daily and weekly papers.
  8. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    What is especially scary is that recent history indicates once an advertiser leaves a newspaper they never come back.

    What is especially scary is that in 2008-2009 revenues plummetted by 15-20% at newspapers. Even when the economy recovered revenues have continued to decline 5-10% a year since then.
    BurnsWhenIPee likes this.
  9. Blogtastic

    Blogtastic New Member

    We already had our pay slashed at my weeklies (I bounce between a few). Considering the length this thing is projected to go until we even have schools open again, let alone sports, I'd frankly be stunned if I had a job by the time it ends.
  10. stix

    stix Active Member

    If I owned a business I wouldn't waste time or money advertising in a newspaper.

    You can do waaaay more for yourself for free on social media.
  11. sportsfan22

    sportsfan22 New Member

    One of my last newspaper jobs, about 8 years ago, a local business set up a test. He printed a coupon in his ad, they ran it for a month. Not one person brought it in, so when the ad rep went to the business to reup them, they rightly canceled. I thought if more businesses did that, this place would be out of business in a couple months.
  12. stix

    stix Active Member


    I presume the only people that still benefit advertisers in newspapers are the only people still benefiting newspapers themselves. An older demographic that's used to looking at the same ads for the same info day after day after day.

    A longtime very successful business in my town that's been running a full-page ad for probably 60 years pulled it a while back after one of our ad team leads screwed up and ran an old ad that didn't apply anymore. I guess the ad had been messed up multiple times, so they pulled it for like a couple months.

    One of our longtime reps who handled this ad for years went and talked to one of the store owners to see if he could get the ad back. The owner told him that since they pulled the ad, business was not affected even one little bit, so why in the world would he re-up the ad?

    In the end, he did, but only as a favor to the rep and cause the business makes 8 gadzillion dollars, anyway. That was the only reason.
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