No More Ad-man, We Need a Superman!

Newspapers are fighting for advertisers because that’s what keeps them going—the ads. CareerBuilder and Monster have taken the employment classifieds away from the newspapers and Craigslist, eBay, and other online sites have taken away the ‘For Sale’ classifieds. Jeremy W. Peters wrote an article for the New York Times titled “Income Falls 26% at The Times Company as Print Advertising Drops,” he states that the New York Times Company reported a drop in fourth-quarter net income. The net income fell 26.2 percent, which in dollars that means it went from $90.9 million to $67.1 million—that’s a lot of millions gone! Peters mentions that The Times print advertising by 7.7 percent, but was offset by the fact that they had an 11 percent growth in digital advertising. The Times is trying to survive while print advertising is dying. The Times has had to cut their staff and freeze pensions. They have given money that they really can’t afford into severance packages.  Many investors are wary about the decline in print revenue, but most are hanging on while the industry enters new media and new economics.

The first advertising revenue to decline and the most significant drop is in classified because there is no need for newspapers to print classifieds because of the creation of Internet sites. The second to go is retail advertising revenue. Newspapers began making lots of money when department stores were created because it meant different outlets wanting to hit different target markets for different products. Now most people don’t go to the newspaper for retail advertisements. Retail outlets have their own catalogs and websites to get their name out there. Newspapers should worry about what they do best, which is the gathering of the news and reporting the news. Then secondly they should worry about how they are going to get paid to do the job. Perhaps someone needs to come in and shake up the old model of news gathering and newspapers and figure out the best model for the new media and the new technological culture.

Will newspapers ever discontinue their daily or weekly print versions and go strictly to online subscription? Will all news outlets be paid content and basically force people to pay for the verified and professional news coverage from reliable sources? At this time it looks like the big runners like The New York Times will not be getting rid of their daily newspapers, but perhaps they should leave what they do best alone and perhaps incorporate a more Internet focused business model. Perhaps incorporate Microsoft Tags into their print versions to draw the reader from print to online, like an exclusive offer available to print subscribers, but found on the Internet. I don’t it is a rough industry to be in right now and I am not sure if anyone has the answer to their problems yet.


Peters, Jeremy W. “Income Falls 26% at The Times Company as Print Advertising Drops.” The New York Times. Print. February 4, 2011.