WAN-IFRA

Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

Date

Thu - 27.11.2014


Business

Are international editions a luxury that newspapers with declining circulation can't afford?

In this digital age, increasingly it looks like international print editions are under threat. An article in The Guardian last Sunday speculated that the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, might be about to shut up shop. Author Peter Preston writes that after selling its stake in the Boston Red Sox and its regional newspaper group, getting rid of the Tribune might be the logical next step for the New York Times.

Preston calls the Tribune "very vulnerable" as senior editors are being called back from the IHT headquarters in Paris to other jobs in New York. He notes that the paper "doesn't make money. It struggles to keep circulation over 200,000 worldwide. And, crucially, it doesn't have a website of its own".

The article is based on conjecture (and it should be pointed out, The Guardian's own circulation was 230,108 in December and it has been losing money for some time) but perhaps Preston raises an important point about the cost of printing international editions. When print production everywhere is under threat, it's no surprise that they're the first to go.


Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 12:54

The Chicago Tribune has announced that it will be offering subscribers a new Sunday books section as a piece of premium paid content.

Printers Row, as the section will be called, will cost Tribune subscribers an additional $99 a year. Those who sign up will get a 24-page book supplement every Sunday, featuring reviews, interviews with authors and news from Chicago's literary scene as well as a free book of short stories each week.

The Chicago Tribune describes the launch in its own business section as "a means to bolster revenue beyond the traditional subscription and advertising model" by offering readers with niche interests a high-quality targeted product that they will be willing to pay for. Gerould Kern, senior vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune states that "audiences want very specialized information, and we are going to give them that".

The Tribune compares its model to cable TV subscriptions, which encourage users to sign up to a basic package and then pay for extra premium channels.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-24 18:07

In mid December last year, 10% of adults in the US owned a tablet computer and 10% owned an ebook reader. According to a report published by PEW today, by early January this year both of these figures had jumped to 19%.

The same report estimated that the number of American adults who owned at least one tablet or eReader leapt from 18% in December to 29% in January.

Father Christmas's generosity seems likely to have a big impact on publishers. According to a poll by IDG Connect, 72% of 210 surveyed worldwide professionals say that they bought fewer newspapers after getting an iPad. According to the same research, as Paid Content reports, 70% of participants also said that they bought fewer books.

Although the sample data is small, the trends are obvious: tablet sales are booming, print is losing out.

The numbers are worrying for news organisations that still rely on print as their main source of revenue. The IDG Connect report notes that "for advertising- funded media (newspapers and magazines), the challenges are particularly substantial. Readers who can afford iPads tend to be more demographically desirable than those who cannot."

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-23 17:58

As Eastman Kodak files for bankruptcy protection today, the once-powerful company's demise has been largely blamed on its failure to adapt to the digital era.

With this warning ringing in their ears, it seems more urgent than ever now for publishers to make sure that they are doing everything possible to gain digital expertise.

The Hearst Corporation has already made a move in this direction by hiring Philip R. Wiser as its first-ever chief technology officer. Wiser, who will start his new role on February 1, was CTO of Sony Corporation of America from 2004 to 2006 and co-founded Sezmi Corporation, a company that offers broadband, mobile and cable providers with a platform for delivering personalized video content. Wiser served as chairman and president of Sezmi, before its recent sale to KIT digital for $27 million.

Earlier in his career Wiser founded Liquid Audio, an early music distribution platform and served as CTO before Microsoft bought up several of its digital rights management patents for $7 million.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-19 17:44

A rough economic climate made 2011 a hard year in Britain, both for local business and for local newspapers. But perhaps a problem shared is a problem halved for the two industries, as the Newspaper Society has named the winners of its Local Business Accelerators scheme, which supports new business while promoting local newspaper advertising.

The scheme, launched last year, and described as a "special partnership between your local newspaper and selected businesses in your community", encouraged UK start-ups to apply for a chance to win a three month advertising campaign with their local paper, as well as mentoring from a business expert.

The initiative is backed by Deborah Meaden from Dragon's Den, who will mentor the overall national winner, to be chosen later this year.

The first round of roughly 1,500 winners, who will have their ads hosted by 500 participating local papers, was announced two days ago. The winning companies were congratulated on Twitter by British PM David Cameron, who also acknowledged the local papers that supported the scheme.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-13 15:04

In July last year, Lord Chris Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust said that high senior management pay was "one of the most toxic reasons for the public's lack of sympathy for the BBC".

Today it's clear that his concerns have been taken head on, as The Guardian reports that the BBC actually exceeded its 2009 target to cut its top management bill by 25% and its number of managers by 20%.

The BBC has slashed the amount it pays for senior managers by 27%, and the actual number of those managers by 24%.

The deadline for the savings was originally set for 2013, but it was later brought forward to the end of 2011.

The cuts bring the number of senior managers down to 484 as of December 31 2011, compared to 640 in 2009, reports Digital Spy.

According to the BBC's website, it anticipates making savings beyond its original objectives in other areas as well. The broadcaster writes that of a planned £2bn of savings between 2007 and 2012/13, "we have already delivered £1bn of savings in the first three years and are on course to exceed our targets."

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-12 18:53

In the biological world, diversity means strength. The same also goes for the publishing industry, where having a diverse portfolio can do a lot to bolster your business.

One example is Schibsted, the Scandanavian media group that was praised by WAN-IFRA in August as a "shining example of how a newspaper publisher can transform its traditional publishing business into a diversified multimedia company". At the time the company was investing heavily in online classifieds. Now it is continuing to expand its portfolio, as it plans to buy the digital music streaming company Aspiro.

Schibsted is offering to buy up Aspiro for 340 million Swedish krona (that's $49 million or £32 million), Paid Content reports. Schibsted's interest in the company is not unexpected, as it's already an 18.3% shareholder in Aspiro and Schibsted's CFO chairs Aspiro's board. Paid Content writes that, so far, one third of Aspiro shareholders have given their support to accepting Schibsted's offer.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-12 15:09

When AOL bought the Patch network of hyperlocal news sites in 2009, it made a gamble. Towards the end of 2011, it looked like that gamble was not paying off, or at least not as quickly as the internet giant had hoped.

However, according to a press release published today, the number of unique visitors to Patch sites has more than tripled between December 2010 and December 2011.

Business Insider reported last month that it estimated the hyperlocal network had lost about $100 million over the last year. This was despite Patch's target for its first sites to reach profitability by the end of 2011. While a Patch spokeswoman flatly denied Business Insider's figure, reductions to Patch sites' freelance budget last October and the fact that the company was encouraging its editors to work more closely with sales people could be see as a sign that the hyperlocal network was coming under financial pressure, even though Patch President Warren Webster insisted that the changes were not driven by financial conditions.

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-11 17:59

This may be the year where newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers.

One early sign of this shift was the 2010 launch of paywalls for the London Times and Sunday Times. These involved no new strategy; however, the newspaper world was finally willing to regard them as real test of whether general-interest papers could induce a critical mass of readers to pay. (Nope.)

Continue reading on Clay Shirky

Author

Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2012-01-06 11:13

Marketing is a vital aspect of a thriving business. As such, the newspaper industry as a whole could benefit from a marketing revival. Traditional marketing tactics may have served the industry well in the past, but the biggest areas of growth are in online and interactive marketing. According to the Forrester Research Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016 (U.S.), interactive marketing currently represents 21 percent of ad spend (2012) and will grow to 35 percent of ad spend by 2016. And by 2016, advertisers will spend nearly $77 billion on interactive marketing.

Continue reading in Editor & Publisher

Author

Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2012-01-05 09:55

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