WWnted to pass along the continued theme I’m hearing from North American publishers in phone calls this week: In the worst downturn since the Great Depression, with too heavy of a reliance on classified advertising in their business model, and with continued migration of eyeballs to the internet ... newspapers are still eeking out a profit by scaling operations!
Yet this story is being drowned out by the torrential negativity coming from:
- Debt-ridden newsmedia companies breaking loan covenants and doing battles with bankers.
- Closing of second-place local newspapers that can’t be sustained in this recession.
- The drama surrounding marginally profitable newspapers in the best of times struggling mightily in the worst of times due mostly to insane union contracts.
- The anger spewed forth by wounded publishers looking to paint Google, the Associated Press, and any other boogeyman as the cause of today’s woes.