The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think

“A few quick observations, according to Medium.com:

“· There remain only two print newspapers in the entire country (the Wall Street Journal and New York Times) that sell more than a half million copies per average weekday, only six that sell a quarter of a million copies and probably only 22 that sell more than 100,000.

“· To be sure, the comparisons are not apples-to-apples. The 2013 figures include promotional copies. But the 2015 figures are not only more recent, but a better indication of consumer behavior — and the best measure of the audience most print advertisers are seeking to reach.

“· Nearly everyone in publishing with whom I shared the 2015 paid figures found them surprisingly low. There is no question that they are dramatically lower than the widely available 2013 numbers.

“· If the 2013 numbers represent the ‘reality’ that even industry professionals have in their heads, but the 2015 numbers represent the facts on the ground, how long can it be before print advertising prices (and thus newspaper revenues) come under further severe pressure?

“· Finally, and to return to the McKinsey report with which we began, if print circulation is much lower than generally believed, what basis is there for confidence the declines are ending and a plateau lies ahead?”

The article is here. The chart also is from the Medium.com article.

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Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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