Monday, March 10, 2008

Funeral continues

We used to pick up the San Antonio paper on Sundays as a real-paper supplement to the Vicad. [When I told a friend that the Express-News was our NYTimes on Sundays, he rolled his eyes and made a pitying noise.] Then we suddenly couldn't get the E-N any longer. They'd pulled distribution back to their immediate trade area, the counties around Bexar.
So, we figured we'd go with the Houston paper ... not that crazy about it, but at least it had metropolitan newspaper content. Now the Chronicle has also discontinued distribution in these outlying counties. We can't buy in our village a newspaper from a big city. The newspaper biz is on sad times.
... The Q4 earnings reports show little to be optimistic about. E.W. Scripps said newspaper revenues fell 8% in 2007, largely due to competition from digital media.The Washington Post Company saw print revenue drop 11% in Q4 from a year earlier and full-year ad revenues were down 13%. McClatchy revenue was off 14% in January.
Gannett, whom Hawaii congressman Neil Abercrombie recently said is “doing great,” said January revenues fall 7.5%, driven by newspaper advertising revenue declines of 9.2%. Media General’s 8% drop in January revenues was largely due to a 17.3% decline in newspaper ad revenues, An ominous trend is that online revenue growth is slowing. January online revenue at the Post grew at 11% or half the growth rate of the previous January. McClatchy’s online sales growth was just 2.6% year-over-year.

You can follow some of the miseries of the business at

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