Forbes on the news biz

Dateline: Mon 27 Oct 2008

Thanks to reader/friend Tom Henderson for sending a link to a Forbes article on newspapers and their woes. Here are the first few graphs from James Erik Abels, published Friday:

"There's nothing like bad news to sell newspapers. Unless there are no newspapers left to sell.

"Many people are wondering if this may soon be a reality. Revenues were in free-fall last week at many of the country's largest newspaper companies. "The only hope is that as we get through the spring, the rate of [the advertising] decline starts to ease up," says newspaper analyst Edward Atorino of The Benchmark Co.

"On Friday, Gannett Co. (nyse: GCI - news - people ) reported that third-quarter revenue fell 9% from the same quarter last year to $1.64 billion. Other companies fared no better: The New York Times Company (nyse: NYT - news - people ) said total revenues fell 8.9% in the third quarter year over year to $687 million. And McClatchy (nyse: MNI - news - people ) posted third-quarter revenues of $451.6 million, down 16.4% over the same quarter last year."

The conclusion is that there may be some dim hope for smaller papers or papers that go private. But in the meantime, expect more layoffs and cost-cutting, because the old business model no longer works.

But we all knew that, right?

Here is the link

http://www.forbes.com/business/2008/10/26/newspapers-revenues-economy-biz-media-cx_jea_1027newspapers.

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