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Mar 28, 2008

NEWS: NAA Reveals Biggest Ad Revenue Plunge in More Than 50 Years

NAA Reveals Biggest Ad Revenue Plunge in More Than 50 Years 
Total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006 -- the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950. Even Internet income is slowing. - March 28, 2008

Newspaper Ad Spending Fell by 10% in 4th Quarter


Advertising expenditures at newspapers and their online editions fell 10% in the fourth quarter despite a sharp increase in online ad buys, suggesting that the industry remains troubled by a shift away from print readership and a sputtering U.S. economy.

Ad spending at newspapers and their Web sites totaled $12.6 billion in the December quarter, ...

Mainstream Media Finally Cops To Dependence on Blogs*

As mainstream media disintegrates, one of the final plums of pride clutched by those who still work in it is that bloggers are just parasitic leeches who depend on them for every last info nugget and pageview. *(In original post, there was a snarky, and, in retrospect, unfair aside here about a dialogue in the comments of this post. Our apologies to Dan Miller).

In anonymous surveys, if not in interviews or religious sermons, mainstream media journalists are finally copping to their dependence on blogs. The 2008 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey queried 1,231 journalists, and here's what they said:

  • Nearly 73% of respondents sometimes or always use blogs in their research.

SJ Mercury News to be leaders on Internet, "pick up the pace", and integrate staff

Recently appointed Executive Editor of Mercury News Dave Butler sent the following memo to the newsroom describing his vision for the newspaper. He states that their mission remains largely focused on "technology and diversity". Some important points that he made:

- The newspaper should not only be the leader for Bay area sister publications, but also the leader of "news experimentation on the Web - trying new ways to satisfy the varying needs of our readers."

- From timeliness of local stories to decision-making, there is a need to pick up the pace. If one story is finished in a day, start working on second or third.

- While making the paper the "most-compelling, interesting, lively and helpful that anyone can get", embrace the "Web-first" distribution philosophy and approach. In other words, create a unified staff instead of separating them into separate print and online groups. 

- Readers want " lots of useful information quickly and they want to pick what is most important." It doesn't matter if they read the articles online, just as long as they read it from Mercury News. Consequently, a wide assortment is necessary, "in terms of subject matter, tone, emotional appeal, length and appearance."

- Evolve with the industry, meaning more useful service material, as many higher quality stories with "energy and flair" that can be produced, talking to people more for stories, better organization and planning, telling more stories in Q & A's, more graphics.

Source: Bazeley.net through Poynter Romenesko

Young viewers finding news from their friends and social networks online

Picture 1.pngAccording to interviews and surveys, not only are young viewers turning to sources such as YouTubeFacebook, and late-night comedy shows like "The Daily Show" for their news instead of from traditional media, they also rely on their friends and social networks to receive their news. Essentially, a social filter is replacing the professional filter, such as reading a paper or surfing through news sites.

Newspaper CEOs Totally Stoked about Yahoo

rollercoasteryahoo.jpgIf an Editor & Publisher "Special Report" on Yahoo's newspaper consortium project is any indication, everything's going swimmingly with the project, despite worries of how an impending Microsoft takeover could affect the situation. Consortium CEOs got together at a two-day meeting at Yahoo HQ in Sunnyvale in which Yahoo EVP Hilary Schneider and President Sue Decker were in attendance. Apparently the leaders of this motley media crew were throwing around terms like "blown away" and "psyched" afterwards.

Does Yahoo have a rollercoaster in their office courtyard we haven't heard about?

Anyway, though the story acts as a re-cap and somewhat of a cheer-fest for the Yahoo project, there are some tidbits of interest. For one, MediaNews Group CEO Dean Singleton told E&P Yahoo has 572 staffers working on paper consortium efforts, and he's been told that will increase to 700 in the coming months. I've seen Yahoo job ads for HotJobs sales gigs, so don't doubt they're hiring, but these numbers do seem really high.

The story notes, "In the next few months, newspapers will begin beta testing of a platform that moves beyond the troubled recruitment advertising arena -- and from traditional mass aggregation of eyeballs into targeting by demographics, geography, and consumer behavior. None of the CEOs will describe in any detail what Yahoo has cooking, but they are uniformly impressed."

This testing is already happening. ClickZ reported this about a month ago, noting Yahoo has already begun testing behavioral and geo-targeting across the growing network of newspaper sites. At the time, Lem Lloyd, VP of Yahoo's Newspaper Consortium told me about 20 paper sites were testing sales of Yahoo inventory to their local advertisers, while Yahoo was testing sales of those paper sites to national advertisers. That test group was expected to expand to 50 in a month's time.

More recently, McClatchy's Chris Hendricks told me McClatchy has had two sites live in the Yahoo pilot test for display advertising for about three months.

E&P also made note of quadrantOne, the new newspaper network led by Gannett, Hearst, Tribune, and The New York Times Company. QuadOne recently added new sites from publishers already partnering with Yahoo, raising questions about the paper companies' attitude towards the Yahoo deal. The story notes, "QuadrantOne has a dedicated sales staff armed with committed inventory from each paper, though Williams could not say how many salespeople will be involved."

For the record, ClickZ reported when the network launched in mid-February that, 17 people are on board to sell CPM-based standard and rich media ads to national advertisers. Some handling ad sales out of New York, LA and Chicago are on the national sales teams at owner firms, including quadOne Interim CEO Dana Hayes and SVP Sales Donna Stokley, both top Tribune Interactive sales execs. They also planned to hire additional sales staff at the time.

Newspapers are f’ed

Newspaper ad revenues have taken their worst drop in almost 60 years - worse even than 2001. E&P reports:

Ed: Productivity. Economic definition is income per capita. To compare online and print media, calculate revenues per reporter after deducting print and circulation costs. If newspapers can't compete on productivity, then paper will disappear - regardless of the preferences of die-hard subscribers. 

Online publishers need to earn higher eCPM. Print publishers continue to squeeze costs. 

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