Two Newspaper Towns


A dying industry is getting a competitive edge.

Thanks to the internet, circulation is slowing down on newspapers and most publications are cutting back or going digital. But despite the numbers a couple U.S. cities are trying something new; a new daily paper to compete against an existing larger one.

The latest city to venture down this path is Long Beach, California. Earlier this week it debuted the Long Beach Register. That will compete with the Long Beach Press Telegram which has been around for more than a century and has an average weekday circulation of about 55,000.

This means Long Beach has now joined Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston as two newspaper towns. Media analysts say the last time a major city added a new daily paper was around WWII.  read more »

Daily Pooper Scoopers


The digital age of publishing might be wiping out major newspapers; but there’s one thing the online editions can’t do.

San Francisco’s Animal Control Agency is single handedly trying to keep the print edition of the San Francisco Chronicle in circulation. The agency relies on the daily newspaper to line animal cages and clean up after the puppies. But digital subscriptions and smartphones are cutting the supply of old newspapers. To keep up a steady supply they are turning to the city’s public library.  read more »

Ratings Up: Revenue Down

Broadcast media is now getting hit with the same economic tidal wave that has been pushing newspapers and magazines under water. But it’s not just due to the internet turning consumers from couch potatoes into keyboard clickers. It’s also advertising dollars now disappearing from all forms of traditional media.

Here is a case in point.

The other day I played golf with a long-time friend of mine who is also in the media business. He anchors a very popular morning radio show in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I asked how things were going for him given the always tenuous nature of careers in broadcasting, he said, “Ratings for my show are through the roof. We have no problem getting listeners. The problem is we have no buyers.”  read more »

The Death of Newspapers

I noted with interest David Carr’s article in Monday’s New York Times titled, “Newspapers Jettisoning Top Talent to Cut Costs”. It begins by detailing how Circuit City came up with a plan in March of 2007 to beef up its sagging bottom line by firing its most talented and experienced employees as a cost saving measure. You see people who have more experience get paid more money.

Of course the short term benefit of slashing payroll always has a long term consequence. Customers who could no longer get an answer to their questions from junior sales folks on the floor at Circuit City simply went somewhere else to buy a tech gadget. If you tried to buy a computer at Circuit City last year you already know that. I tried, quit and went to Best Buy for my new laptop.  read more »

Obama wins: media now losing.

After almost two years of non-stop political news coverage and advertising, television viewers finally get a break. No more negative advertising, screaming matches on talk shows, and pontificating pundits pretending they know more than you do about how the world turns.

But while you may feel more relaxed in front of your TV set, those behind the screen are not. The money has stopped flowing. This political campaign was a cash cow for local television stations across the country. A record $250 million dollars was spent just by the Obama campaign on local, cable and network television in just the past five months. All political advertising in this presidential election year is estimated at a record $2.5 billion dollars.  read more »