Thursday, August 27, 2015

What the next recession could do to the media business

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.
In truth, newspaper companies lost a huge amount of revenue – one-fifth of their pre-recession totals – in one year and then continued to lose. If recession accelerated newspaper ad revenue loss, so did economic recovery, as advertisers switch to digital further picked up steam. One publisher notes that throughout all the change we’ve seen, newspapers have taken a “disproportionate hit.” Unfortunately, that history would probably repeat.

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