Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Rough days in newspaper world
Highlighted earlier today in the Romenesko newspaper industry blog, newspapers are slogging through some tough revenue numbers. The Gannett earnings release reflects this as well. The newspaper business model is undergoing radical change amid growing pressure. We can't just wade through rough waters thinking lost circulation will return and a sudden boost of advertising revenue will flow (although an LA election season looms).
News audiences are getting their information from multiple streams (The 2005 Scarborough report offers a view of the next generation), pressing us to reduce redundant efforts and focus on reinvent. The book Good to Great by Jim Collins details consequences of resisting needed change. Adjustments in the The Times can be compared.
Our local-local approach (launched April 2), ramped-up focus on multi-platform storytelling (online, video, weekly newspapers , niche Websites, magazines and mobile news) are part of the strategy. Our internal conversion from a traditional newsroom structure to an Information Center is being refined now to harvest deeper and richer local content.
We will not survive duplicating information readily available elsewhere. We are concentrating on improving local coverage. We will be local, local and local in the years to come.
In today's climate (see WSJ report), breaking the resources free to experiement creates a disturbance. Remaining profitable while investing in the future can cause headaches inside and outside of the newspaper - to all who love newspapers. (See what Savannah Morning News (GA) is doing, focusing even more of the core.)
We are building a strategy to serve our home communities in great times of need -- as we have during disasters, business ups and downs and sorrow.
Note: Good news for Times readers coming up. Sunday Comics will return broadsheet August 12. Celebrations will be incorporated into Living to make this possible.
Posted by The Times at 10:15 AM