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State of the Newspaper Industry

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Your Huckleberry, Jun 9, 2007.


What is the driving force behind the decline of newspapers?

  1. The Internet

  2. The Economy

  1. Boots said something to me earlier that I have thought about and decided makes a lot of sense. So, I'm asking you what your thoughts are on his observation.

    A strong economy would probably make our industry a lot healthier according to boots, and I tend to agree. So, is the driving force behind this decline of newspapers in the last 8 years due to changing media or is it the result of a poor economy brought on by our government?

    Personally, I think the economy has more to do with it than the Internet.
  2. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    The state of the economy has nothing to do with it. The insane nature of the American financial system has everything to do with it. Come on, gang, that's be realistic. If moron suits can demolish the auto industry, which they did, killing us is child's play.
  3. You dont think anything our Executive leadership has led to this crunch in advertising dollars? Gas is $3 a gallon. Everyone is living tight and not parting with their money as freely, and advertising is the first expense businesses cut when they experience an economic slow down.

    I think Bush and his pals in Congress have some blame in this. The whole damn country is in a tailspin, not just newspapers.
  4. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The double-digit profit margins are because papers are cutting their way to meeting numbers. Business sages much wiser than I have noted you cannot cut your way to growth. The problem is not the economy. The problem is the disruptive technology of the Internet, and how that broke down newspapers' monopoly on information in most markets.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Ok. Here we go again. A few questions...

    ***A stronger economy going to eliminate EBay so we can have our wanted ads back?
    ***A stronger economy going to eliminate CraigsList so we can have our line advertising back?
    ***A stronger economy going to stop the mergers and consolidation of department stores which are traditionally big newspaper advertisers?
    ***A stronger economy going to help or change our demographic, a demographic so entrenched in their ways they still buy newspapers. (Good for us).
    ***A stronger economy going to get us our auto ads back? The ones found on EBay or AutoTrader or ClassyAuto?
    ***This is the first year in the last seven that movie studios have increased newspaper advertising. But, it also has been a year of blockbusters and sequels.

    Those revenue streams are gone. And for the most part, not replaced. That's why, at every turn, we're saying goodbye to our most venerable colleagues. These cuts are not "fat" anymore, they are affecting the core of our mission. We're not able to serve our paper, our community like we once did.

    See, the problem isn't 2007. It is five years from now.
  6. If you honestly think our industry is healthy, you need to check yourself in to the Betty Ford Clinic for psychiatric evaluation. The profit margins that are so "healthy" that you claim newspapers are still reeling in are because of cuts everywhere from staff size to web widths while raising subscription and advertising rates.

    You do read the news right? You do see that circulation has been declining steadily right? You do see all the cutbacks right? I do not undertsand how you can argue that the newspaper industry is healthy. That is simply beyond me.

    All I'm asking is if people think the Internet or the economy is to blame. A stronger economy lends itself to a lot more advertising. I think if our government leaders can get the economy back on track, newspapers will not be in the tailspin that they're in.
  7. Or maybe the newspaper business itself is to blame for getting fat and lazy and refusing to adapt to the Internet or changes in the economy until it was too late.
  8. Great points. No argument here.
  9. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    That shouldn't even count as a post. What does that mean?
    Who are you, Gordon Gecko?
  11. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Actually, he's a lot closer to the truth than you think.

    The profit margins of most newspapers are still to die for in Corporate America. I'd be willing to bet that Greensboro's profit margin is probably somewhere in the high teens to low 20s.

    What you're seeing here is a problem with multiple facets :the failure to adapt to a changing reading culture, combined with insanely piss-poor management, an unwillingness of stockholders to accept anything less than 20% profit margins and the wolfpack mentality that has plagued this business since the days of the penny press.

    So yes, greed is a reason. To think otherwise is naive.

    Every publisher now sees their brethren cutting and cutting, so they merrily join in, not realizing (or choosing to ignore) that they're cutting their own throats by reducing the reasons people have for taking their product.
  12. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I just stopped in to look for Chicken Little.

    Seeing Mr. Huckleberry, my quest is complete and I shall find a more uplifting thread.
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