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Archive for November 2005

No revenues? No news …

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The New York Times printed two compelling numbers Tuesday that ought to have newspaper beancounters quivering in fear:

14,626,000 — the number of unique visitors to classified advertising web sites in September 2004

26,349,000 — the number of unique visitors to classified advertising web sites in September 2005

That’s an 80 percent increase in the use of online classified ad services. Craigslist.org use increased 165 percent, according to The Times. Classified advertising — small text ads that seek or offer goods or services — is important to newspaper companies because it provides a significant source of revenue, as does display advertising. The two numbers proferred by The Times suggest that the number of people looking to buy or sell goods or services online is increasing at a dramatic rate.

That can’t be good for the newspaper industry. Without adequate and stable revenues, the industry’s ability to fulfill its public-service obligation under its grant of First Amendment protection would be compromised. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

November 29, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Digging into a hole instead of out …

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Profitability pressures have Tribune Co. newspapers whacking newsroom staffs again.

The Los Angeles Times will lose 85 newsroom positions, about 8 percent of the newsroom staff. The flagship Chicago Tribune will lose 100 employees spread across all departments.

Small Trib properties are taking hits, too. The Daily Press of Newport News, Va., will eliminate eight jobs, four in the newsroom. Eighteen other unfilled jobs were cut. The Allentown, Pa., Morning Call will offer buyouts to cut a dozen from the advertising and editorial staffs.

And, according to the E&P story, “The [Baltimore] Sun said it would cut 75 jobs, or 5 percent of its work force, with 12 to 15 expected to come from the newsroom. In September, Newsday, the Tribune Co.’s dominant daily newspaper on Long Island, said it would reduce its coverage of New York City and cut 45 positions from its newsroom staff.”

This is insane. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

November 17, 2005 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Recent statements from morons …

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I stand by it.

— Conservative radio talk show host Michael Graham, who was fired in August from his WMAL-FM gig in Washington after he said, “We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam.”

I think he’s a very bright guy.

— Peter Smyth, chief executive of Greater Media, who hired Graham after a two-week tryout to do afternoon drive-time at WTKK-FM in Boston.

The Chinese people talk about human rights every day. Everything we do is for improving people’s livelihood, that includes guaranteeing the people’s property rights, political rights and cultural and education rights and democratic development rights.

— Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing in response to President Bush’s attempt to prod China into change by holding up Taiwan as an example of democracy.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

November 16, 2005 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

18 of 20 top newspapers lose circulation, but so what?

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Editor & Publisher reports that 18 of the top 20 newspapers in the U.S. lost weekday circulation in the previous six months ending Sept. 30.

But Jay Smith, chairman of the Newspaper Association of America and president of Cox Newspapers Inc., says newspapers aren’t dead. It’s only a problem with scorekeeping:

In an era of 24-hour cable news, more radio and television stations than we ever dreamed possible and, of course, the Internet, newspapers get a bad rap. Too often their wounds are self-inflicted. The scorekeepers in our business have failed to count readers, preferring to track the easier-to-measure metric of paid circulation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

November 7, 2005 at 1:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized