Newspapers are dying.

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A week or so ago Steve Ballmer said that in 10 years newspapers would be dead. This of course riled up a few people still working for the Newspapers. With Mathew Ingram pointing out that there will be papers for the foreseeable future. I fundamentally agree with Mat. But I have to ask the question of what kind of papers will they be?The reason I ask is that Sam Zell CEO of the Tribune, a conglomerate of US papers, best known for owning  the LA Times. Also announced his papers will be going to a new ad ratio:

excluding classified advertising and special ad sections — split 50-50 between news content and ads.

He also plans on cutting staff as with smaller space they need less staff (win win). But Zell is no idiot when it comes to the newspaper business, he can read a balance sheet as well as the next guy.  AD percentage in all of today’s papers has been creeping up, while subscribers and revenues decline.But you’ve got to wonder with the staff cuts and other issues going on at newspapers just what kind of paper my Dad will be reading in 20 years time. So while I agree with Mathew that there will be print media (with papers being a part of them) You got to wonder who the heck is going to buy them with ad ratio’s and content going the way they are?Maybe E-ink to Print Papers will be what FM is to AM. AM exists but no one goes there for their music anymore.

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at www.mattroberts.com.

3 Comments

  1. Bernie Hayden says

    Yup. Sam Zell has his "For Sale" signs out. Gasoline costs are going to hurt the folks who deliver a.m. papers in their old cars. And papers are outsourcing their editing and design work to India. Take my short quiz to see how vulnerable newspapers really are.Big metro newspapers will never be the same. — Bernie

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