Monday, August 22, 2011

WSJ: Newspaper publishers reset ad expectations

From a Wall Street Journal story today:

Newspaper companies are resetting their advertising expectations after a discouraging first half of the year, a shift that could spur a return to more of the job cuts and other belt-tightening moves that spread through the industry in 2008 and 2009.

The cost-cutting scenario that could be facing more newspaper companies already has played out at Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation and a bellwether for the industry.

In the second quarter, Gannett reported a 23% increase in digital revenue at USA Today and 9% at its U.S. community newspaper division, which consists of 80 papers including The Arizona Republic, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Indianapolis Star. Yet total publishing ad revenue for the period was down 6.5% to $646.9 million, following a 7.3% decline in the first quarter, as declines in the more-expensive print ads dragged down results.

Related: GCI's second-quarter 10-Q report to regulators.


  1. Meaningless ---> 23% increase in digital revenues.

    If I had $1 in revenue, and then I sold $1.23, I'd have a 23% increase in revenues. What I want to know is what percentage of total revenue is digital? Now, that's real data.

  2. Digital, at best, ranges between 10 to 15 percent of total NIBT at most sites. There are a few NT-31s that fall below 10 percent (for example, some smaller dailies may not have or revenue because they are in the shadow of a Gannett metro).

  3. No need to have a forecasted or budgeted revenue figure that there is no way to meet. Lower the figures and we'll make budget!
    - Sales Rep on commission

  4. Remember that, without the print albatross, you only need 20% of the revenue to run the newsroom and pay for advertising reps.

  5. Bye, bye full-time jobs. Hello, minimum wager.

  6. Damnit. It seems everytime we seem to get a grip on the economy and international issues, something crops up that casts clouds over what was a promising course. I can't believe things are that bleak with all this federal spending and an election looming in 2012.

  7. 8:45 PM, without print, we'd all be out of a job. Do you really think the current digital revenues could support the newsrooms we have now? If so, you're mistaken.


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