Friday, April 22, 2005

Death Watch

I think I'm going to use this standing header for the steady drumbeat of depressing news and warnings to be heeded about newspapers' -- and now TV's -- future.

Two quick hits:
  • Consultants from McKinsey & Co. have told the Newspaper Association of America that erosion in classifieds could cost newspapers $4 billion, or 20 percent of their classified ad revenue, within two years (or 9 percent of all their ad revenues) -- assuming that real estate and car ads get whacked as help-wanted has (and it's hard to see how those two areas won't). AdAge writes about it (reg. required). "Online is capturing all the growth," consultant Louis Ubinas said. One participant suggests papers try to maintain market share "at all costs." That includes surrounding the ads with what AdAge calls "compelling content," as well as automating as many ad-ordering process as possible and understanding the local market better. In other words, the days of newspapers sitting back and just being ad takers are over.
  • Don't chuckle so fast at newspaper's woes if you're in TV. Consulting firm Deloitte says the broadcast networks are toast if they don't start doing things differently (Broadcasting & Cable story). TV as we know it can sort of survive if it becomes "multi-dimensional," "highly adaptable" and "customer-focused," the report says. In other words, TV when and where people want it, including interactivity, on-demand and delivery over wireless data networks. As B&C's John Eggerton concludes: "In essence, the report is saying, start looking more like your broadband competition or risk being buried by it."

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