Archive for August 18th, 2009

McClatchy Web sites gain readership

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Three McClatchy newspaper Web sites in  Nielsen Online’s top 30 for July show double-digit readership growth, according to Editor & Publisher, which commissions the rankings.

The Sacramento Bee, at 18th with 2,426,000 unique users, is up 84 percent over July 2008. The Miami Herald, at 24th with 1,829,000 unique users, is up  36 percent. The Kansas City Star, with 1,708,000 unique users, is up 59 percent.

The list’s top five are: The New York Times, 14,277,000, (-27 percent); The Washington Post, 11,565,000, 29 percent; USA Today, 9,761,000, (-6 percent); (New York) Daily News, 9,131,000, 112 percent;  Los Angeles Times, 8,938,000, 2 percent.

More layoffs expected, despite profits

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Poynter Media Business Analyst Rick Edmonds counts six newspapers that have announced layoffs this month alone – “once-proud, top-ranked regionals, three of them owned by McClatchy” – despite a return to profitability in the second quarter.

But profits have come from cutting expenses, not increasing revenue. Ad revenue continues to drop by 25 to 30 percent over last year, according to Edmonds.

“(S)taying profitable will require continued vigilance on expenses,” he says. “A little of that takes care of itself – reduced paper use since so much less advertising and news is being printed. But companies targeting above-average profit levels – like Gannett – or forced to keep profits up to handle a high level of debt – like McClatchy – will continue to work the outsourcing and down-sizing option.

“Still, I fret that many newspapers are flirting with the tipping point of seeming expendable to discerning readers who can see the gaps and flaws caused by cutting too much too fast.”

(Note: the author of this site was among 10 people laid off from The News & Observer in Raleigh, a McClatchy newspaper, this month.)