February 20, 2005

Daily Newspapers face a Kodak Moment?

Frank Ahrens takes a look at the plight of daily newspapers in the internet era (Here's a great chart on the changes):
Frank A. Blethen, publisher of the Seattle Times, said his industry has some breathing room left. But not much.

"The baby boomers are going to continue to drive print [sales] for some time," he said. "The problem we have are the . . . 18- to 35-year-olds. They're not replacing the baby boomers."

Others are more blunt, if hyperbolic.

"Print is dead," Sports Illustrated President John Squires told a room full of newspaper and magazine circulation executives at a conference in Toronto in November. His advice? "Get over it," meaning publishers should stop trying to save their ink-on-paper product and focus on electronic delivery of their journalism.

I believe the changes in the newspaper industry mirror Kodak's plight: the sharp, ongoing drop in formerly very high margin film sales. People are still taking pictures, in fact, more than ever. Kodak is just not capturing the kind of dollars they did in the past.

Newspapers face a similar issue. Their high margin, very high overhead business model will likely not survive (this will take some time), BUT citizens still want information, in fact, due to the internet, we're foraging for information at much higher rates than before.

I also think newspapers have not adjusted to their reader's changing expectations regarding news accessibility, depth and content in the internet era. The traditional text article, designed for print no longer cuts it. Thus the rise of the blogs....

Watch the conversation (technorati). Posted by James Zellmer at February 20, 2005 8:45 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
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