Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whither the Old Community Newspaper?

Mike Archer writes:

The perfect storm that is now hitting the industry goes much deeper than production, printing and delivery and has caused the very real sense of imminent crisis that is prevalent in the US and is starting to affect the big newspaper chains in Canada. It involves the virtual disappearance of classified advertising revenue to the Internet and the drop in retail advertising that has been made more pronounced by the worldwide stock market crash.

Not only are subscribers dropping like flies (why would you pay for it if the information is available quicker and for free somewhere else) but the industry’s other two revenue sources are crumbling at the same time.

For local community newspapers, whose business model is built around distribution of flyers to homes throughout the city, the problems are more daunting. When subscriptions and newsstand sales drop, paid circulation publications can reduce their print run accordingly and adjust their costs. Not so if you have committed to deliver to every home.

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