Thursday, October 30, 2008

MediaNews exec: Tell the whole circ story

Matt Baldwin, MediaNews vice president of research, says in a memo posted by Romenesko that he doesn't understand "the newspaper industry's insistence on self-flagellation when it comes to reporting circulation declines" when broadcasters don't make the same announcements about their medium. "I cannot recall a single instance of radio announcing the number of listeners lost to fragmentation, new formats, HD or satellite radio services," Baldwin writes.

The story newspapers miss when they focus solely on printed newspaper circulation are the gains newspapers have seen on their Web sites.
    Metro Denver is a perfect example. According to the Denver Scarborough Report (a national media research firm), 1.3 million adults read a printed newspaper at least once a week. That number hasn’t fluctuated significantly in over three years, even with the circulation changes documented in the article. Here's what HAS changed: In that same three years, the weekly unique visitor average for the Denver newspaper’s family of websites has grown from 827,582 to 1,286,070. Even with some duplication between print and online, there’s no question that the Denver newspaper total audience (print plus online) is at an all-time high.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK, fine, let's assume the same number of people are reading newspapers as before, only now they're moving to the Web to get their news.

Knowing this, how does MediaNews plan to increase revenue as their readers move from print to online? That's the key with all newspapers, not just MediaNews. The only answer I've heard so far is reducing staff. That won't cut it. Neither will pointless endeavors such as redesigns of the print product. Let's show some innovation, folks.

News coverage will continue to dwindle until newspapers crack the online profit puzzle. In the meantime, many of the best and brightest journalists are leaving the industry for PR and corporate gigs, many of which pay much better and offer better hours.