The Future of Print

New FAS-FAX Shows (More) Steep Circulation Losses

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on April 27, 2009

NEW YORK The Audit Bureau of Circulations released this morning the spring figures for the six months ending March 31, 2009, showing that country’s largest metros continue to shed daily and Sunday circulation, now at a record rate.

According to ABC, for 395 newspapers reporting in this spring, daily circulation fell 7% to 34,439,713 copies compared to the same March period in 2008. On Sunday for 557 newspapers, circulation was down 5.3% to 42,082,707. These averages do not include 84 newspapers with circulations below 50,000 due to a change in publishing frequency.

The percent comparisons are for the same period ending in March 2008. (All daily averages are for Monday through Friday.)

Daily circulation at The New York Times dropped 3.5% to 1,039,031. Sunday circulation was down 1.7% to 1,451,233.

The Washington Post lost 1.6% of its daily circ to 665,383 and 2.3% to 868,965.

USA Today, as reported earlier this month, lost 7.4% of its daily circulation to 2,113,725 due to a decline in hotel copies.

Daily circulation at The Wall Street Journal was up a fraction 0.6% to 2,082,189, but this was certainly the exception, not the rule.

Daily circulation at The Boston Globe skidded 13.6% to 302,638 copies. Sunday decreased 11.2% to 466,665.

New York’s Daily News was off 14%, but rival New York Post lost even more, at minus 20%. The Star-Ledger of Newark shed over 16%. Newsday, in comparison, lost “only” 7%.

For ranking of top 25, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/dnkmdg

via New FAS-FAX Shows (More) Steep Circulation Losses.

Just Announced: Gannett Digital Media Network

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on April 22, 2009

From the release: “Gannett Co., Inc. announced today the formation of a groundbreaking network that will change the way advertisers reach their target customers. The Gannett Digital Media Network ties together more than 100 digital communities with a combined reach of approximately 25 million people. Included in the network are Gannett’s best-of-breed news and information sites, led by USATODAY.com, the web site for the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. It also includes the local sites for Gannett’s massive network of newspaper and broadcast properties, representing some of the most recognized brands in their communities, such as AZCentral.com and IndyStar.com…

via The E&P Pub: Just Announced: Gannett Digital Media Network.

MediaPost Publications McClatchy Faces De-Listing By NYSE 04/20/2009

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on April 20, 2009

In yet another humiliating blow for American newspapers, McClatchy, one of the nation’s largest newspaper publishers, faces de-listing by the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have fallen below the minimum required value of $1.00, according to The Miami Herald, a McClatchy publication that first reported the news Friday.

With this warning, delivered April 14, McClatchy approaches the nadir of its spectacular fall from grace, a tragic arc that began three years ago with its acquisition of Knight-Ridder.

According to usual NYSE practices, McClatchy may obtain a grace period of 18 months in which to bolster its share value above the $1.00 threshold. That depends, however, on it setting forth a convincing plan to the NYSE office in the next 45 days. If the NYSE officials reject the plan, NYSE will be de-listed from the exchange soon thereafter, at which point it will trade among the “penny stocks” of the “pink sheets.”

via MediaPost Publications McClatchy Faces De-Listing By NYSE 04/20/2009.

The Spot Runner Saga Continues: Founders Accused Of A “Pump And Dump” Scheme

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on April 19, 2009

TV advertising startup Spot Runner really is running on fumes. According to a lawsuit filed by one its irate investors, advertising giant WPP, Spot Runner has “expended all but approximately $20 million of its investor capital, while losing money at the rate of $35-$45 million a year.” The company has raised $100 million since 2006, and at one point employed more than 500 people before a string of layoffs cut that number down significantly.

The lawsuit states that the company had a loss of $45 million in fiscal 2008, on revenues of only $9 million. And in fiscal 2007, it lost $35 million on revenues of $5 million.

And here’s the zinger. While Spot Runner was losing all that money, its founders and two early investors Index Ventures and Battery Ventures sold shares worth $54 million. CEO and founder Nick Grouf took the lion’s share of those proceeds, netting $26.7 million in five transactions between Feb/March, 2006 and March, 2008. Battery and Index each sold $11.7 million worth of shares nearly doubling their initial investments of $6 million each. While co-founder David Waxman walked away with only $3.6 million and investor Bob Pittman $365,000 worth of shares. The main complaint of the lawsuit states:

Rather than working to make Spot Runner a successful and profitable venture, they perpetuated a “pump-and dump” scheme in which they aggressively promoted the Company to new investors often by promoting that WPP was an investor in and supporter of the Company and then sold new investors large quantities of their own secondary shares at ever-increasing valuations.

Via TechCrunch

Possible HotJobs Sale Raises Questions For Yahoo Newspaper Partners

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on April 16, 2009

The news today that Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is reportedly seeking a buyer for HotJobs will certainly once again fuel worry among the nearly 800 Yahoo Newspaper Consortium members about how dedicated new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is to the alliance.

Access to HotJobs listings has been—and continues to be—a major reason that newspapers have wanted to join the Yahoo consortium. Yahoo HotJobs has launched co-branded career sites with the majority of the member papers. A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment, stating that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

But at the Newspaper Consortium CEO Summit in Las Vegas earlier this month, members said they were already somewhat concerned about the impact that the departure of Yahoo President Sue Decker, a driving force behind the consortium, would have. Those worries were somewhat offset by the hope that Bartz’s hiring would mean that Yahoo would once again be able to—in the words of one attendee—get “back to (the) more mundane business of driving ad revenue.”

via Possible HotJobs Sale Raises Questions For Yahoo Newspaper Partners | paidContent.org.

Newsquest classified ad revenue falls 45% year on year

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on April 16, 2009

The regional newspaper publisher Newsquest’s revenue from property ads plunged by 60% year on year in the first three months of 2009.

Figures published today by Newsquest’s US parent company, Gannett, revealed that total UK classified advertising revenue fell 45.1% between January and the end of March.

Newsquest, which publishes 17 UK daily paid-for titles including the Brighton Argus, the Northern Echo and Scottish newspaper the Herald, reported a 60.0% year-on-year slump in revenue from property ads, a fall of 51.4% from employment ads, and a slide of 43.2% from car ads.

Total advertising revenue at Newsquest, which also publishes 200 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications, slumped 38.7% year on year in the first three months of 2009.

via Newsquest classified ad revenue falls 45% year on year | Media | guardian.co.uk.

Global ad spending to fall by 7%

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on April 14, 2009

FT: Worldwide advertising spending, a barometer for economic confidence, will fall 6.9 per cent in 2009 to $453bn, compared with 1 per cent growth last year, predicts ZenithOptimedia, the media buying unit of Publicis, the world’s fourth-largest advertising group.

The forecasts outstrip rivals’ figures released last month. Group M, owned by WPP, expects a 4.4 per cent decline this year and Carat, owned by Aegis, expects a 5.8 per cent drop.

No surprises on the hit list:

  • Newspapers:  -12%.
  • Radio: -10%+
  • Magazines: -10%+
  • Television: -5.5%

The Internet will be weak but do okay.

Via FT.com/ Media – Global ad spending to fall by 7%.

Publications Video Growth Explodes On Newspaper Sites

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on April 14, 2009

Newspapers across the country may be scaling back to survive, but online video appears to be one area where they’re expanding aggressively. An analysis of 187 U.S. newspaper Web sites by Web video provider Brightcove shows a surge in their video-related activity last year.

The number of videos uploaded by each newspaper to the Brightcove platform, for example, grew from an average of 186 per month to 638 in 2008. The overall total of uploads increased 1,500%.

On the consumer side, video streams are growing 35% per quarter, nearly tripling to 42.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the year-earlier period. Total video player “loads,” or page views containing video, increased 700% — suggesting that newspaper sites are putting video on more pages.

While Brightcove doesn’t provide ad revenue figures, the company says nearly all of its newspaper partners are monetizing video content with advertising.

via MediaPost Publications Video Growth Explodes On Newspaper Sites 04/08/2009.

McClatchy will make $200mln from digital this year

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on April 10, 2009

McClatchy Chief Executive Gary Pruitt shared some details of the newspaper publisher’s operations in his speech on Tuesday at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual meeting. Here’s what he said, based on a transcript posted at the NAA’s website:

At McClatchy, 15% of our advertising revenue today comes from online. McClatchy, a company founded before the advent of electric lights, will generate nearly $200 million dollars in digital revenue this year at a higher profit margin than our print business.

What significance is this?

  • Fifteen percent is above the average newspaper publisher’s take from digital
  • $200 million would be almost enough to run The New York Times’s newsroom operations for a year. Not bad.

via MediaFile » Blog Archive » McClatchy will make $200mln from digital this year | Blogs |.

US newspaper owners are “mad as hell”

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on April 8, 2009

US newspaper owners, their advertising revenue evaporating, their circulation declining and their readership going online to get news for free, are fighting mad.

The enemy? Websites that use their stories without paying for them.

“We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more,” said the chairman of the Associated Press, a cooperative of over 1,400 US newspapers, borrowing a line from the anchorman character in the 1976 movie “Network.”

“We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories,” Dean Singleton said at a meeting this week of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) in San Diego, California.

via US newspaper owners are “mad as hell”.