Drumbeat of terrible earnings news continues
As if the newspaper industry needs any more bad news, a new survey finds that high-margin print classified ads perform dismally compared to online competition. The only exception: recruiting blue-collar workers. Quoting:
‘A survey of human resource executives revealed that print ranked the lowest when it comes time to finding good candidates. ‘Statistically and anecdotally,’ editors with Classified Intelligence wrote, ‘print advertising is an ineffective medium for recruiting candidates.’ Seventy percent of respondents said print was either ‘very ineffective’ or ‘ineffective’ up 60% from 2006. Only 14% of the 70 recruiters polled said that print was a good way to find employees. One interesting piece of information from the study: Recruiters did give print high marks for finding blue-collar candidates.”
It’s getting a little bizarre out there
Perhaps some unscrupulous publishers are taking advantage of the situation
- In the first case of its kind that we can remember, a publisher has been fined for running a journalism sweatshop. E&P reports that the Chinese Daily News has to pay $5.2 million for allegedly forcing reporters to file five stories a day and to rush between news conferences and interviews. Ad quotas were unreasonably high and production workers were forced to labor nonstop. Reporters testified that they had to work six days a week, 12 hours a day, but weren’t able to complain because of pressure and the culture of intimidation. We’ve heard that morale is bad in newsrooms pretty much everywhere, but this is extreme!
- And this would be funny if it weren’t true. The following item is reprinted in its entirety from Media Post: “Under a new Wall Street Journal policy, if a reporter writes a book based on a newspaper story, Rupert Murdoch wants a piece of the action, reports Crain’s New York. Any reporter’s book that uses research for Journal stories would qualify. In exchange a share of the book’s proceeds, the newspaper provides marketing and advertising support for the title. Most publishers do not require such a fee.”
Bright spots: some small-town papers are thriving
Not all newspapers are suffering. While the big metro dailies struggle to become more local, a host of existing local newspapers are seeing revenues and circulation grow to record levels. The secret seems to be focusing on mom-and-pop advertisers, making editors a part of the communities they serve and coming up with new ways to get the paper into the hands of everyone in the community.
E&P reports on several, including “the publisher of two paid Texas weeklies that between them don’t quite sell 5,000 copies: the Aransas Pass Progress and the Ingleside Index. The papers ended 2007 up 14% in ad revenue from 2006. ‘We are planning for a similar 2008,'” the publisher says.
Most of these papers are free, by the way, and that’s how they’re getting results for advertisers. Quoting one publisher:
Alan Mutter has expertly documented the crumbling business models of American newspapers, often finding insights in the financial reports that everyone else has missed. In this post, he focuses on the good news: there’s evidence that some small publishers are figuring out innovative new publishing models that are both profitable and popular with their readers. The one thread through all of them is that they target small audiences.
This entry was posted on Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 4:31 pm and is filed under NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.