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Grim First-Quarter Results for Newspapers Essay

This particular article talks about the continuing decline in newspaper subscriptions and purchases by the general public. Many people believe that the newspapers and all print magazines are well on their way to being extinction. Many critics believe the reason for this is because the news can easily and efficiently be found and read on the internet. The world wide web offers a great source of news but beyond that it allows for people to have a discussion about news topics. This leads to a more well rounded approach to every issue that becomes news worthy. No longer is the public blindly fed whatever the newspapers want them to read.

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The public can aggressively seek out information, both sides of the story, on the internet. Obviously, as an online news reader you have to be good at research and just as good at telling the truth from fiction. However, I think the decline of the newspaper has very little to do with the internet and blogging.

In today’s world, newspaper are so focused on selling adds and inserts that they fail to offer the public any interesting information. Who wants to wade through all the advertisements only to find the information you want squished between what is on sale at the grocery store and what’s one sale at JcPenney’s. When you pay for a newspaper you are paying for the news not be manipulated by marketing companies telling you what you should be, buy, and strive for.

Online I can search for exactly the news story I want. I have direct access to all the information and I don’t have to dispose of all those paper inserts trying to sell me shoes. Newspapers have failed to keep up with the demands on a now much more well informed public. Instead of having better articles written by better authors to increase circulation (thus increasing profit) they have chosen to fill up every extra piece of space with marketing junk that most news reader could care less about. Newspapers will die out but only because they believe money was more important than truth.

lGrim First-Quarter Results for Newspapers

lAd Revenue From Web Operations Become More Important to Publishers

By Nat Ives

Published: April 14, 2006

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Newspapers made a bit of a grim display this week when they reported their first-quarter earnings, revealing profit declines at The New York Times Co., Tribune Co., McClatchy Co. and powerhouse Gannett Co., but displayed at every turn the rising importance of the Web to their businesses.

The New York Times Co. reported perhaps the brightest results yesterday, even though first-quarter profit fell 68.5% to $35 million from $111 million a year earlier. That apparent free fall, however, mostly reflected the extra income in last year’s first quarter when the company sold its headquarters in Times Square.

About.com boosts Times Co.
The Web played a big role in the company’s overall respectable results. Ad revenue rose 3.9% in the first quarter to $554.6 million, up from $533.8 million in the year previous quarter. The Times Co. ad increases were largely delivered by About.com; without that property, ad revenue would have increased just 0.7%.

Earnings per share were 4 cents, a penny higher than the analysts’ consensus expectation compiled by Thomson Financial.

“Our results in the first quarter reflect higher advertising and circulation revenues at The New York Times Media Group and the Regional Media Group, in part due to the introduction of innovative new products,” said Janet L. Robinson, president-CEO. But The Boston Globe’s unit, The New England Media Group, was again hit hard by consolidation among advertisers and a tough competitive environment, she said.

Tribune looks to Web assets

Another heavy-hitter, The Tribune Co., reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings also fell to the tune of 28%, with flat ad revenue. The Tribune owns newspapers including The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. Tribune expects online ad revenues to contribute about $350 million in 2006; it counts a stake a CareerBuilder.com among its Web assets.

McClatchy Co., which agreed last month to buy Philadelphia Inquirer parent Knight Ridder, reported a 14.2% decline in first-quarter net income. Ad revenue at McClatchy, which houses newspapers including the Sacramento Bee, grew 1.4% to $237.1 million.

The powerhouse that is Gannett turned in perhaps the most surprising report on April 12, announcing that net income sank 11.5% in the first quarter. Its newspapers’ ad revenue grew 5.7% to nearly $1.3 billion, but that factors in acquisitions without which first-quarter ad revenue would actually have fallen 1.8%. At its flagship USA Today, ad revenues declined 4.2%.

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