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Archive for September 3rd, 2007

Ad revenues at newspapers: More bad news

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Conditions at American newspapers are going to worsen, and there’s a billion reasons why.

Because of incompetent or inept or unimaginative top management scared silly by Wall Street profit expectations, you can hardly recognize newspapers any more.

Newspapers have physically shrunk. They’re narrower and not as deep. That means less space for news despite protestations to the contrary and “smart business decisions” such as front-page ads and he-said, she-said arguments about the future of news.

Staffs in all departments of newspapers have decreased through layoffs and attrition. All this means less credible news as fewer people do more work, as reporters with less time use fewer sources — sometimes just one — or lean more heavily on “anonymice.”

You know why. The current business model in the news biz says: “Maintain profit margin” because Wall Street demands it. But advertising revenue — the money coming in — is decreasing. Therefore expenses — the money going out — must decrease. Ergo: Cut the size of the paper. Cut the size of the staff. “Enhance” the Internet presence. Sacrifice a necessary role in how a democracy functions and blame Craigslist.

Well, folks, don’t count on better things ahead for newspapers, because they can’t afford it (or so they say.)
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

September 3, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized