It’s no secret eReleases works with newspapers. Many of our subscribing journalists are from newspapers. Many of our customers have received print in local and nationwide newspapers alike. I like newspapers. I still subscribe to my local newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, as well as to the Wall Street Journal.
Local Newspapers as Effective Monopoly
Many cities are one-newspaper towns, enjoying an effective monopoly for local print advertising as well as classifieds, specifically job ads. This has been a cash cow. Having placed a single, small job ad a decade ago in the Baltimore Sun and paid about $1,000, I knew the power that monopoly standing held. The equivalent ad space under Yard Sales would have cost me less than $30. Newspapers enjoyed that arrogant pricing for years with little competition. Just ask the local movie theater how much they pay for their listings. Likely, it’s near the high-end of your local newspaper’s tiered pricing.
The Internet Changed Things
Then the Internet blew into town and newspapers have never been the same.
It wasn’t overnight. Some newspapers begrudgingly posted their articles online and put their classifieds online. Most, however, never truly leveraged the power of the Internet community. It has been nearly a decade since the Internet reached a critical mass. The writing has been on the wall for a long time. Lots of companies, large and small, would beg to have a 10-year warning shot across the bow, giving them ample time to test, evolve or face the consequences.
Please Help This Community Asset Survive … Not!
Money is being passed out by the government like candy and newspapers are rumbling more than ever about possible closures, including threats that some cities would lose their only newspaper. It’s sad, but I have to say newspapers unable to make ends meet should close down. There should be no bailout for these dinosaurs. I suspect local blogs, alternative press, and even craigslist will fill the void created when these local giants fail.
Does the Richmond Times-Dispatch Get It?
Media General, parent of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, purchased Richmond.com last year for an undisclosed amount of money. Richmond.com averages 120,000 unique monthly visitors and nearly 2.7 million page views each month. More importantly, the site was well-monetized through ads and partnerships with local businesses. While the move seems smart on several fronts, the sad reality is that Richmond.com was able to achieve revenues and site traffic with little to no actual presence in the state of Virginia. Why did the Richmond Times-Dispatch have to purchase this asset rather than build its own?
As the dinosaurs died out, so too will some newspapers. For a body count as well as list of those on life support, check out http://www.greentaxi.com/newspaper-game/ . However, there will be survivors. I suspect the media ecosystem will adjust and stabilize. The era of big newspapers in every town is shifting. Evolution is part of the natural order of business. The automobile boom of the 1920s had hundreds of automobile manufacturers in the United States. We’ve done fine with the big three for several decades and the future may show we’ll get along fine with just one or two domestic manufacturers competing against foreign automakers.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.