Thursday, August 27, 2015
Politico / Ken Doctor reporting: While newspapers’ financial woes now receive decreasing media attention, 2015 has been worse than 2014 – and no year has shown revenue growth since 2007. These are fragile enterprises, unquestionably in downward spiral, by any metric. Newsroom employment is down to 32,900, and will soon be half what it was 25 years ago. They are profitable, but for most, only on the basis of continual cost-cutting.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
...4. The Times can count about the same number of payingdaily readers today as it could in 1995.
In those pre-digital days, the Times’ daily circulation stood at 1.5 million. Today, it counts 625,000 daily print payers (home delivery and single copy) and those 1 million digital payers. That’s a little over 1.6 million. That’s another mind-boggling equivalency. With all that has changed, in the news business particularly, roughly the same number of people pay for The New York Times. One takeaway: Even at the peak of financial success — and the ’90s were good for the industry — the Times still relied on only a tiny percentage of Americans. At one point, a million and a half paying readers meant sustaining prosperity. Now, it seems like a shaky lifeline. There’s truth and there’s perception, and a lot to think about..
9. Newsroom investment is a business driver.
Of the Times’ total expense budget, about 20 percent goes to the newsroom. That’s about one-third more than the average U.S. daily, which spends 12.5 percent — or one out of eight dollars — on content creation. It’s no accident that the two regional leaders in digital-only sales, The Boston Globe (with 63,000 digital-only subscribers) and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis (with 58,000 digital-onlies), both spend closer to 20 percent as well. Readers know quality, depth, and breadth when they see it, and they’re willing to pay for it. There’s a lesson in that for the industry.