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Journal Communications Inc Message Board

  • tjob13 tjob13 Jun 7, 2009 6:13 PM Flag

    Myth's need reality checks

    "The Reality About Newspapers" - J.Sturm "In the past two years, the newspaper business has faced unprecedented financial challenges. The economic meltdown and advertising recession have hit our industry hard. But make no mistake about this: newspaper media - print and digital - remains strong and will emerge from the current environment an even stronger multi-platform force. Here is the reality about newspapers today: 1) Myth:No one reads newspapers anymore. REALITY: More than 104 million adults read a print newspaper every day, more than 115 million on Sundays. That's more people than watch the Super Bowl (94 million), American Idol (23 million) or that typically watch the late local news(65 million). 2)Myth:Young people no longer read newspapers. REALITY:61% of 18-24 yr. olds and 25-34 yr. olds read a newspaper in an average week and 65% of them read a newspaper or visited a newspaper website in the past week. 3)Myth: Newspaper readership is tanking. REALITY: Average weekday newspaper readership declined a mere 1.8% between 2007 and 2008, and about 7% since its peak in 2002. Compare that to the 10% decline seen in the prime time tv audience in 2007 alone. Meanwhile, newspapers' Web audience has grown nearly 75% since 2004, to 73 million unique visitors a month. 4) Myth: Many newspapers are going out of business. REALITY: Newspapers, AS INDIVIDUAL businesses, by and large remain profitable enterprises - with operating margins that Wall Street analysts estimate will generally average in the low to mid teens during 2009. While that may be down from historical highs, such margins would be the ENVY of many other industries today. As consultant J.Morton said in a recent American Journalism Review article, "Overall, the beleaguered newspaper industry's financial health has been weakened but remains healthy by most measures. In this environment, that is an achievement. 5)Myth: Newspaper advertising doesn't work. REALITY: Google's own research shows that 56% of consumers researched or purchased products they saw in a newspaper. Google also says that newspaper advertising reinforces online ads: 52% ARE MORE LIKELY TO BUY products IF THEY SEE IT IN THE PAPER. 6) Myth: There are no creative options in newspapers. REALITY: Newspaper advertising options have exploded and now include shape and polybag ads, post-it notes, "we prints," shingle spadeas, scented ads, taste-it ads, glow-in-the-dark, belly bands and temporary tattoos, as well as event and database marketing, behavioral targeting, e-mail blasts, e-newsletters and more. 7) Myth: If newspapers close, you will still be able to get news from other sources. REALITY: Newspapers make a larger investment in journalism than any other medium. Most of the information you read from "aggregators" and other media ORIGINATED WITH NEWSPAPERS. NO AMOUNT OF EFFORT from local bloggers, non-profit news entities or TV news sources could match the depth and breadth of newspaper-produced content. This is NOT a portrait of a dying industry. It's illustrative of TRANSFORMATION. Newspapers are reinventing themselves to focus on serving distinct audiences with a variety of products, and delivering those audiences effectively to advertisers across media channels.

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    • during what conversion?

    • I have B Shares but it is my understanding that they could be purchased from me at the current market price durning the conversion. It that correct?, If so I would have a great loss and have a short sell which in turn I would owe the bank.

      Very confused!!?

    • also, you said you have " no current position and haven't studied their (JRN's) financials." I'm wondering how you can even make comparisons between these companies.

    • no current position in JRN doesn't mean you wouldn't love a great entry point.

    • There is substantial truth in many of the purported myths and your post deserves to be addressed. "Myth 1": No one reads newspapers. That is a false premise... and was never a myth. Myth 2: Young people don't read newspapers. Reality is that young people glance at newspapers when they are lying around but few subscribe. They get more of their news from the web and pay nothing. "Myth 3": Newspaper readership is tanking. True, but not as fast as prime time tv viewership. Newspaper ads are tanking faster than readership. Newspaper subscriptions are tanking faster than readership. "Myth 4": Many newspapers are going out of business. True. There are lots that are going under and more will. Although the operating income of many newspapers is still positive, the large amount of debt that many carry means they will go out of business if they don't restructure. Myth 5: Newspaper advertizing doesn't work. It works, but it's less cost effective than targeted advertizing or free internet craigs list type alternatives. Most ads that are gone are not going to return, ever. "Myth 6": There are no creative options for newspapers. Reality is that there are no creative options that have worked to offset the terminal rate of advertizing decline in most newspapers. Myth 7: You'll be able to get news from other sources than newspapers. Reality is that you can get your news elswhere but it won't be as good or as comprehensive, which is too bad, but seems unlikely to save newspapers unless Sen. Kerry throws you a bone!

      • 3 Replies to imadeadcat
      • What a pleasant surprise this morning to see, from out of nowhere, "The Cat" making a grand entrance on the JRN message board with an outstanding post. I do, however, take issue with your statement that (newspaper advertising is) "less cost effective than targeted advertizing or free internet craigs list type alternatives." The beauty of newspaper advertising is that it can be targeted to minute geographic areas through what we used to call "Selective Distribution" of preprinted inserts. For many business categories, newspapers are far more effective than internet advertising. Craigs List is not a marketers panacea. Even a free ad outlet is worthless if it doesn't produce results. Newspaper advertising consistently produces results, even in the current recession. The primary reason that newspaper advertising levels are so far below historical norms is that the top three categories of newspaper advertising--automotive, real estate and financial--are at the center of the current economic crisis.

      • deadcat, in case you haven't noticed, the restructuring IS going on. It doesn't happen overnight. There are MANY, MANY factors/strategies involved in the restructure of this industry. Patience will definitely be rewarded, and maybe sooner than we think.

      • everyone has their own opinion, and I differ with you on more than one of these issues.

    • that's only because the stock was as high as the $20 range...back in the day.

    • A half million B shares is not an especially large amount to be purchased since the annual meeting. That only amounts to around $750,000. Back in the day, there were probably a couple hundred employees who owned more than $750,000 in stock.

    • Do you have any idea how to read those filings? Those were not purchases.

    • According to a recent SEC filing there has been nearly half a million of the B shares bought since the annual meeting last April. And that was some time ago. We all hope that tjob got a piece of the action.

      You guys should quit yelling at each other and DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

    • just want to clarify - I've never made a comment referring to retirees and shares they still own. My comment was that Twerps' information did not come from me.

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