the Wall Street Journal's box

Recently a Wall Street Journal newspaper box showed up at the Independence Avenue exit of the Smithsonian metro stop in Washington, DC.   Unlike the traditional front-loader, this box is a large, thick-walled top-loader.  It sells copies for $2.  It even offers the option of paying by credit card. A street vendor about 10 yards away … Continue reading the Wall Street Journal's box

newspaper advertising revenue estimates

While newspapers clearly are suffering economically, different sources of newspaper advertising statistics show different extents of decline.  The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) website reports a 27.94% year-on-year decline in newspaper advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2009 (2009 Q3).   Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Services Survey indicate a 14% year-on-year … Continue reading newspaper advertising revenue estimates

Great Depression concentrated newspaper advertising expenditure

The Great Depression that began late in 1929 and extended through the early 1930s had a major effect on U.S. newspaper advertising expenditure.   U.S national advertisers spent less on newspaper advertising in 1938 than in 1919.   In 1938, spending of national advertisers in newspapers was only 57% of the corresponding advertising spending in 1929. … Continue reading Great Depression concentrated newspaper advertising expenditure

the dilemma of the front page

The Newseum, that stunning monument to the investment priorities of the leaders of traditional news media, features on its front facade the front pages of newspapers. The front page of a print newspaper is commonly considered to be important news: “front-page news.”  But news that’s important to you depends on you.   Why take seriously … Continue reading the dilemma of the front page

newspapers and magazines: bigger problems than the Great Depression

U.S. print newspaper and magazine advertising revenue is falling sharply.  In the first quarter of 2009, newspaper print advertising revenue declined 30% compared to the first quarter of 2008 ( $5.92 billion in 2009 Q1; $8.42 billion in 2008 Q1).  Magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue, which does not take into account discounting likely to be more … Continue reading newspapers and magazines: bigger problems than the Great Depression

historic patterns of paying for content

Compared to periodicals, newspapers have developed a business model much less propitious for profitably distributing content in a digital world.  Most of newspapers’ revenue historically has come from newspaper establishments integrated with the business of printing.  A much larger share of periodicals’ revenue has come from publishing establishments not integrated into printing.  Accounting for frequency … Continue reading historic patterns of paying for content

U.S. newspapers' revenue structure, 1880-2007

Traditional print newspapers’ current troubles have roots early in the twentieth century.   In 1880, newspapers’ revenue structure was quite diversified.  Subscription revenue and print revenue was evenly balanced, with each accounting for about 40% of total revenue.  Other revenue (job printing, book binding, and other miscellaneous revenue sources) amounted to about 20% of  total … Continue reading U.S. newspapers' revenue structure, 1880-2007