Let’s all give one collective “Awwwwww” for the newspaper industry that seems destined to go the way of the Dodo bird. As reported by The New York Times on Friday, the first quarter was another bad period for an industry which continues to see ad revenues decline as America’s readers increasingly lose interest in their content:
“The newspaper industry continues to flag financially, with three companies — The New York Times, Tribune and McClatchy — reporting sharply lower first-quarter earnings yesterday.
“Executives of all of the newspaper companies said they were hurt by stagnant advertising, particularly in the automotive and entertainment categories, and a continuing rise in the cost of newsprint. The Times Company and Tribune also cited the cost of severance packages after cutting hundreds of jobs.”
Nobody seemed immune to the contagion that continues to devastate the industry:
- “At The New York Times Company, profit fell 69 percent, to $35 million, or 24 cents a share, down from $111 million, or 76 cents a share, in the first quarter of last year.”
- “The Tribune company, whose newspapers include The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and Newsday, reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings fell 28 percent. Income fell to $103 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $143 million, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier. Overall revenue declined 1.3 percent, to $1.3 billion. Advertising revenue was flat. Last year, the company cut 1,200 jobs.”
- “At McClatchy, net income fell to $27.7 million, or 59 cents a share. That compares with $32.3 million, or 69 cents a share, a year before.”
- “The results yesterday follow a report on Wednesday from Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper company and one of its most profitable, that its earnings had fallen by 11 percent. Gannett also said that ad sales at USA Today, its largest newspaper, had fallen 4.2 percent.”
Just keep doing what you’re doing, folks, and I’ll likely be telling my grandchildren tales about the bygone days when folks actually waited until a paperboy brought them the “news” 24 hours after it happened.
Ah, the bad old days.