Archive for May, 2010

Newspaper ads up online, continue to fail in print

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Newspaper Association of America said Thursday that U.S. newspapers saw a gain in online advertising sales in the first quarter of this year that represents the first growth since the same period in 2008. But print advertising, which is where newspapers really make their money, continued to fall.

Online ad sales rose 4.9 percent in the quarter to $730.4 million, well shy of the $2.96 billion newspapers earned through their largest advertising segment, retail — or display — advertising.

Revenue from printed retail advertising fell 11 percent in the quarter, according to a Bloomberg report, which compares well to a 24 percent drop in the same period a year earlier. Classified advertising fell 14 percent to $1.25 billion, and national ads fell 8.3 percent to $1.04 billion.

Age cited as factor in news distribution

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Your age dictates how you share news that you find online, a survey by says, but you’re probably not particular about where you get it in the first place.

“Among people aged 45 and older, 68 percent share news stories they see via e-mail, while 54 percent of those under 45 use Facebook,” a Min Online report about the survey says. “Among those 24 and younger, however, 90 percent use either Facebook or Twitter as the way they trade interesting news items with others.”

Regardless, almost everyone — 82 percent of adults — has “interacted with a news story on a site” and 83 percent say they are comfortable posting comments about online news stories.

The survey also found that people will read news from multiple sources, with as many as 80 percent saying they choose unfamiliar sources online.

“The results generally confirm publisher fears that online information gatherers have limited brand loyalty,” the report says. “The search-driven information economy has effectively leveled the brand playing field and challenged the brand equity many publishers spent decades building.”

First quarter of growth leaves some behind

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Local newspapers, local magazines and business-to-business magazines did not participate in the first increase in advertising spending since the first quarter of 2006, The New York Times reported Wednesday.  Those in print media that did benefit from the 5.1 percent growth in spending compared with the first quarter of 2009 included Sunday newspaper magazines, national newspapers and Spanish-language newspapers.

The ad tracking service, Kantar Media, a unit of WPP, reported the numbers Wednesday morning.

“Thirteen of the 19 types of media tracked by Kantar experienced spending gains in the first quarter, the company reported, ranging from 1.5 percent for Spanish-language magazines to 22 percent for spot television,” the NYT said. “Of the media in which ad spending declined, the decreases ranged from 0.4 percent for outdoor ads to 13.2 percent for syndicated national television.”

The increase shows that marketers are confident that the recession is ending, the report says. The bulk of the spending is attributed to big corporations, including Procter & Gamble, up 17.7 percent; AT&T, up 26.7 percent; and General Motors, up 28.5 percent.

Gannett jumps into online marketing services

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, announced an initiative last week to  sell online marketing services to local businesses. McClatchy newspapers, the nation’s third-largest publisher, announced a similar program in April.

A company memo quoted by the Gannett Blog says, “GannettLocal is a new business model focused on working with small and medium-sized business to provide them a high-touch marketing consultation and a suite of multiplatform solutions (search engine marketing, e-mail, digital display, website and geo-targeted print/flyers) delivered by a team of dedicated experts over the phone.”

That’s “a high-touch marketing consultation … over the phone.”

GannettLocal is based in Phoenix and already in use by the the website azcentral at Gannett’s Arizona Republic.

McClatchy to automate online ad creation

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

McClatchy newspapers are set to begin using a computer program that automatically creates online advertisements for local businesses, the New York Times reported Friday.

After the user types in the business name and location, PlaceLocal builds a display ad automatically, “scouring the Internet for references to (the business)” the NYT says. “Then it combines the photographs it finds with reviews, customer comments and other text into a customized online ad for the business.”

“The company has … signed up the McClatchy newspaper chain and will soon be on some of its Web sites,” Roger Lee, chief operating officer of PaperG, the program’s developer, told the newspaper.

The program is already in use on 32 local media websites, including Time Out New York and Time Out Chicago, and on 29 network TV affiliates owned or managed by Hearst Television, Lee said.

Advertisers pay about $150 a month to $500 or more, based primarily on how many times the ad is shown, and PaperG takes a percentage of this fee.

“Because the program creates an ad in moments, it saves the time of people on the Web site who might normally need to build the ad themselves, or work with the customer to build one. That can translate into lower charges,” Shaina Park, a sales representative at Time Out New York said.

Victor Wong, PaperG’s chief executive, said sales reps at media companies also use PlaceLocal to create sample or “spec” ads to show potential customers.

Gary Pruitt lies to stockholders

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Gary Pruitt, at McClatchy’s shareholders meeting Wednesday, boasted of “McClatchy’s unwavering commitment to public service journalism” and vowed that the publishing company would continue to “provide relevant, high quality journalism.”

Anyone who reads a McClatchy newspaper knows the quality of the journalism has declined precipitously as the company has cut positions, and anyone who works for, or has worked for, McClatchy knows that its management is committed only to the bottom line — money.

Pruitt bases his claim of ongoing quality on national recognition of the work of three McClatchy papers: The Kansas City Star winning the Robert F. Kennedy Award, the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat winning the George Polk Award and the McClatchy Washington Bureau being named as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. But this work, and other solid reporting at McClatchy newspapers, is the work of local journalists who remain dedicated to their profession, not McClatchy. Pruitt gloms onto their efforts while he has eliminated the jobs of about a third of their colleagues and makes plans to eliminate more.

Perhaps the job cuts were inevitable given the economy and the changes in the newspaper industry. But to maintain that they have not adversely affected the quality of the newspapers is simply a lie and an insult to those whose lives have been disrupted by these layoffs.

Pruitt is every bit as despicable as the CEOs of BP, Wall Street banks, Big Tobacco and other industries who care solely about profits and don’t give a thought about who they use or hurt along the way.

Magazines show signs of recovery

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Magazine advertising is up by 7.34 percent for June and 4.67 for the second quarter, says Min Online, comparing the “modest uptick” with the 1992 recovery, “which proved to be the beginning of a prosperous eight years.”

Among the big movers are Elle Decor with a 91.28 gain and Playboy with a 94.69 percent increase. Playboy, which formed a business partnership with American Media, has also dropped plans to publish 10 times a year and will remain a monthly.

Magazine ads said to drive web traffic

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Magazine advertising is a good vehicle for building website traffic, according to a new poll discussed by Adweek.

The poll by the Chief Marketing Officer Council says 90 percent of the magazine subscribers they talked to prefer print to online or e-reader mags, but “48 percent of respondents answered affirmatively when asked whether they ‘go online to find more information about the advertisements in your printed magazines.'” Sixty-three percent said they’d do so “if the advertising in your printed subscription magazines was customized,” according to Adweek.

Social Media: Resistance is Futile

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

A You Tube slide show with a slew of statistics shows us how social media have taken over our lives. The 4 1/2-minute video in the end is a plug for a book — “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business” by Erik Qualman — but not before it likely convinces the hardiest social media holdout to give in.

Social media have overtaken porn as the No. 1 “activity” on the Web, the video says. Facebook has higher weekly traffic than Google. “Social media isn’t a fad,” it concludes, “it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”

Among the points made that pertain to advertising and traditional media, none of which are attributed in the video:

– 25 percent of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content. 34 percent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.

– 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14 percent trust advertisements.

– Only 18 percent of traditional TV campaigns generate positive ROI. 90 percent of people skip ads via TiVo or DVRs (this was disputed just this week).

– 60 million Facebook updates are made daily. “We no longer search for the news, the news finds us. We will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media.”

McClatchy to reap $230M in sale

Friday, May 7th, 2010

The McClatchy Company is about to pocket $230 million from a man interested in a sure-fire advertising vehicle.

But, Mark Siffin isn’t advertising in the company’s newspapers. He wants land McClatchy owns so he can build a parking garage and erect a pair of 20-story-tall electronic billboards on top of it, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

Siffin will pay $230 million for 10 acres owned by McClatchy’s Miami Herald. He plans to build the garage and a retail center next door. He has already paid McClatchy $16 million toward the purchase, which included an extension on the contract to close in 2011.

Siffin still has to get a city commission to approve a new ordinance allowing the electronic billboards. Some residents oppose them.

Regardless, McClatchy gets to sell land it has been trying to unload for some time at a good price; the same lot was under contract for $190 million in 2005, the height of the real estate market, according to the Journal.

You’d think $230 million could save a lot of journalists’ jobs, but you wouldn’t want to bet on it.