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The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Riptide, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Feels to me like this is the year that big papers really cave in. And then I saw these numbers:
    From the story, which was posted on Romenesko:

    · There remain only two print newspapers in the entire country (the Wall Street Journal and New York Times) that sell more than a half million copies per average weekday, only six that sell a quarter of a million copies and probably [correction: not many more than] 22 that sell more than 100,000.

    · To be sure, the comparisons are not apples-to-apples. The 2013 figures include promotional copies. But the 2015 figures are not only more recent, but a better indication of consumer behavior — and the best measure of the audience most print advertisers are seeking to reach.

    · Nearly everyone in publishing with whom I shared the 2015 paid figures found them surprisingly low. There is no question that they are dramatically lower than the widely available 2013 numbers.

    · If the 2013 numbers represent the “reality” that even industry professionals have in their heads, but the 2015 numbers represent the facts on the ground, how long can it be before print advertising prices (and thus newspaper revenues) come under further severe pressure?

    · Finally, and to return to the McKinsey report with which we began, if print circulation is much lower than generally believed, what basis is there for confidence the declines are ending and a plateau lies ahead?

  2. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    More jillionaires like Sheldon Adelson who can cover the losses will buy them to use as political tools.
  3. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Obviously, the fall-off already is shocking.
    But feels to me like a lot more coming soon.

    The collapse of advertising rates looms larger than ever.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's not even a steady decline figure, figure if they lose X in a month, it will be X (1.5) the next, the next etc. The papers have done the math and will cut ahead of the decline in order to hit their margin targets.
  5. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Atlanta at 92,000 is as stunning as the USAT drop-off.
  6. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Atlanta's drop is jaw-dropping. That's 40 percent in two years. If they lose 40 percent in another two years, their circulation will be 55,000. Yikes.
  7. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    The non-inclusion of the promotional copies likely explains the massive USAT drop. But still scary across the board.
  8. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    This is stunning.

    How about Tampa dropping 100k? Holy shit.
  9. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    St. Pete. Just sayin'. And the 400K for the WSJ can probably largely be attributed to the promo copies deal too. But that's a shit ton of losses. And certainly not gonna help the rates, as was said.
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    But after my previous 2 comments, I wonder, is this more of a correction than anything? Papers have been clearly padding their stats, which I don't think would be too surprising. But this much?
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I'm looking at that list and thinking to myself, Holy _____, have San Francisco, Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Detroit been swallowed into the middle of the planet?
  12. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    How does a guy write a blog like this and not link to his sources for the circulation numbers? Not that I don't trust them, I'd just like to see them and see if they list other papers.
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