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Archive for May 11th, 2005

‘Knightfall’ imminent?

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Steve Volk’s “Media” column in this week’s Philadelphia Weekly paints an interesting picture of advertising pressures on circulation patterns at the Inquirer and Daily News, both published by Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., a unit of Knight-Ridder.

Volk offers some street-level looks at how papers are circulated — and in what neighborhoods — as well as the impact on circulation from other staff cuts.

It’s an interest read for those interested in the nitty-gritty of newspapers’ quest for higher profits (or to just hold on to what they have). If you like redlining, then you’ll appreciate Volk’s piece.


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 11, 2005 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Market’ your circulation woes away …

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You own a newspaper, and 1) either your circulation is falling (therefore lowering your ad rates) or 2) your profit margins are shrinking, which, of course, is an outcome of 1).

Oh, lordie, what to do, what to do …

Solution: Market your circulation/adverftising/profit problems away.

Recall, please, my earlier post on the multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns undertaken by the Newspaper Association of America and the Magazine Publishers of America to make over their media’s images.

Now one of the finest (well, it used to be) newspapers I’ve ever read, the Christian Science Monitor, has succumbed to the same thoughtless solution to its problems: cut the editorial staff and increase marketing efforts.

According to an E&P story, the Monitor will cut 10 to 15 positions from its editorial staff of 102.

E&P quoted a report on the Monitor’s web site: “There will be a reduction in editorial staff to permit the publisher to devote efforts to marketing to rebuild the paper’s circulation,” the report said.

There it is in black-and-white: Solve circulation woes by cutting the ability to produce strong editorial content to increase the ability to market weaker content to boost circulation.

This isn’t the Monitor’s first round of editorial staff cuts, either. E&P reported in July 2004 that the Monitor had cut 13 editorial positions since the beginning of that year. E&P’s story recounts circulation drops, reductions in pages per issue and increases in subscription prices, all signs of troubles at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the newspaper’s owner.

It’s painful to watch greatness suffer the slow death of a thousand erosive cuts … especially when the proposed solution is so thoughtless.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 11, 2005 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized