The Baltimore Sun’s John McIntyre, in his You Don’t Say blog, nails the “shabby expedient” being practiced by McClatchy newspapers in its dismantling of the copy desk at The News & Observer in Raleigh in favor of a production center in Charlotte.
Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category
Andy Bechtel, a copy editor who teaches at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill and writes The Editor’s Desk blog, offers a tribute to N&O copy editors and designers, whose jobs were eliminated in favor a production center in Charlotte this week (see the post below).
“I am sad for my former colleagues, and I worry about the quality of the newspaper that I still read every day,” he writes. “I am also angry that hard-working journalists must bear the brunt of McClatchy’s debt and business decisions.”
Among the many Facebook comments he posts, surely from a reporter: “Who’ll save my ass now?”
Update: Not 24 hours after telling his copy editors and designers their jobs were being eliminated, N&O Senior VP/Executive Editor John Drescher set the weekly staff meeting for hours before designers and copy editors come in for the day. Looks like they’re not his problem any more.
at 2 pm in the McDaniels conference room.
And, from The N&O’s Afternoon Update today, why copy editors are important:
|Thousands of marijuana plants discovered in Chatham|
|Authorities discovered 1,784 marijuana plants growing in southern Chatham County on June 1, the sheriff’s office said.
Updated Jun. 7, 2011 8:21 AM | Full Story
Managers at the The News & Observer in Raleigh told about 25 copy editors and page designers on Monday that their jobs were being transferred to a new production hub at the Charlotte Observer. The move is to start over the summer and be fully in effect by mid-September.
The Charlotte production center will produce The N&O and its 10 community papers, including The Chapel Hill News, The Cary News and The Herald in Smithfield. The Charlotte copy desk already prepares The Herald of nearby Rock Hill, S.C.
Look for McClatchy’s South Carolina papers, including The State in Columbia and the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, to eventually be added to the Charlotte production hub, though their managers are waging the same futile fight against it that The N&O’s management lost.
N&O employees will be able to move to positions in Charlotte and get a $5,000 relocation stipend plus one week’s pay per year worked with The N&O, up to 13 weeks.
Some Raleigh copy desk managers will lose their supervisory duties and take pay cuts as Charlotte takes over, and others at the top of their pay ranges may see their pay cut or frozen, a company memo says. Pay cuts are not to exceed 10 percent and would come at the end of the year.
Those who don’t want to move will get the standard severance package of two week’s pay per year worked up to 26 weeks and COBRA insurance assistance. All Charlotte copy desk employees are being offered buyouts with the same deal.
Many of the copy editors and designers now in Raleigh are veteran workers (because most of the young workers have been laid off already) with ties to the community and are not expected to move. This will allow McClatchy to hire new and younger designers and copy editors for less money or make do with fewer.
The move is another attempt to bail water instead of repairing the ship. McClatchy is incrementally merging the Charlotte and Raleigh papers, having already merged the Sports and Features departments and the Capital bureau in Raleigh, but hasn’t shown what it will take to make the big, final, inevitable move.
Most positions are being physically moved toward Charlotte instead of to the state capital because the Charlotte office building inherited when McClatchy bought the paper from Knight Ridder is vastly superior to the dingy offices of The N&O in Raleigh. And because Charlotte managers continuously prevail in negotiations with N&O brass.
Newspaper ad revenue continues its slide in first quarter numbers released this week showing a drop of 9.48 percent in print revenue that struggles up to an overall fall of 7 percent when it’s levened by gains in online.
Revenues from online sales increased 10.6 percent to $807.9 million, according to Newspaper Association of America numbers, but even that was down from a 14 percent gain in the final quarter of 2010.
This quarter’s $4.7 billion in print revenue is off 55 percent from the first quarter of 2006, making it the 20th straight quarter of year-over-year print revenue declines.
Alan D. Mutter of Reflections of a Newsosaur called the news “an unexpectedly sharp decline” and said “newspapers now appear to be entering the sixth year of an unprecedented collapse.”
Eric Sass at Media Daily News said then numbers “suggest that newspaper print ad revenues are locked into a permanent, long-term decline.”
Revenue from online advertising represented a 14.5 percent share of total newspaper ad dollars in the first quarter of the year, an all-time high.
On the print side, national ads dropped 11 percent, retail declined 9.5 percent, and classifieds slid 8.15 percent.
Henry Blodget and Kamelia Angelova, using The New York Times as the example, lay out for Business Insider how newspapers are bound to disappear — complete with a colorful illustrative graph.
“Its core business, the print newspaper, is shrinking, and its digital business, however successful, cannot replace the lost revenue and profitability of the print business. … And despite the enormous cost cuts the company has made since the early 2000s, its operating profit — even in a recovery year like 2010 — doesn’t approach the fat years of a decade ago.
“Unless the New York Times Company can figure out a way to turn around the print newspaper circulation revenue (highly unlikely), this shrinkage will continue.”
Newspaper advertising is still where people turn to plan, shop and make buying decisions, says a survey sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America.
The survey (.pdf) of 2,500 adults by Frank N. Magid Associates found that four-in-five adults (79 percent) said they “took action” as a result of newspaper advertising in the past month. This included clipping a coupon, buying something, visiting a website for more information or trying something for the first time.
Preprints are extremely popular, the survey found, with 90 percent of adults saying they regularly or occasionally read Sunday inserts; for the full week the figure stands at 79 percent. Over the course of 30 days, 79 percent of respondents acted on newspaper preprint advertising.
When researchers compared newspaper ads to other media as a “primary medium for checking advertising,” they found newspapers on top at 35 percent, followed by the Internet at 28 percent, direct mail at 12 percent, television at 9 percent and other media in lower single digits.
Online advertising grew at a double-digit rate despite the economy last year and eclipsed newspaper advertising for the first time, the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said this week.
Revenue from ads on the Web rose by 15 percent in 2010 to $26 billion, topping newspapers at $22.8 billion, cable TV networks at $22.5 billion, broadcast TV with $17.6 billion and radio with $15.3 billion in advertising revenue, according to the Dow Jones Newswire review of the report.
The Newspaper Association of America put total print newspaper advertising at $22.795 billion last year, an 8.2 percent drop compared with 2009. Online advertising at newspapers grew by 10.9 percent in 2010, to $3 billion, about 13 percent of total ad income.
“We now have had five consecutive quarters of growth since the great recession impacted interactive advertising in 2009,” Sherrill Mane, IAB’s senior vice president, industry services, said in the IAB’s news release introducing the online revenue report. “The record-breaking revenue in Q4 2010 and the total year indicate that interactive advertising has weathered the storm and then some.”
Search is still the largest online ad category with 46 percent of revenue, but display advertising on the Web grew by 24 percent “in a sign that major brands are growing more comfortable with the medium as a place to invest their marketing dollars.”
Media Bistro’s 10,000 Words blog presents 5 Annoying News Site Ads and Why to Avoid Them, saying newspapers are hurting themselves with their online ads.
“It’s one thing to sell advertisements, and it’s another thing to annoy your visitors with them,” writes Meranda Watling. “Want to know the easiest way to get a reader to exit a webpage? Post an ad that detracts from your content and talks (or sings — true story), jumps in the way of the content, moves around so it can’t be closed, crashes browsers or floods users’ CPUs with an abundance of pop-overs and -unders complete with seizure-inducing animation and headache-inducing jingles.”
A continuing decline in local advertising made newspapers the only ad-supported medium not to benefit from last year’s economic recovery, says a study released Thursday by Kantar Media, a unit of WPP that tracks marketing activity in major media.
The study says total advertising revenue increased in the final quarter of 2010, which represents a full year of gains when compared to 2009 numbers, the New York Times said.
The study found a 6.5 percent increase in revenue compared with 2009. Ad spending fell 12.3 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.
Newspapers, with a decline of 3.5 percent overall, “was the sole category to suffer a decline last year compared with 2009,” the Times says.
“[G]ains in ad spending in national newspapers, up 2.7 percent, and Spanish-language newspapers, up 2 percent, could not overcome the decline in ad spending in local newspapers, which was 4.6 percent.”
Television grew by 10.3 percent compared with 2009. Internet display ads were up 9.9 percent. Outdoor media was up 9.6 percent. Radio grew by 7.6 percent. Free-standing coupon inserts were up 5.4 percent. Magazines saw 2.9 percent growth.
Automotive advertising, a local newspaper staple, was the category of advertising showing the most growth. It grew 19.8 percent compared with 2009, the newspaper said. Ads from auto dealers climbed 26.3 percent and ads from automakers increased 16.4 percent.
Though the slide has slowed, the $26 billion spent on newspaper ads last year represents a 25-year low, according to figures released Tuesday by the Newspaper Association of America.
The industry took in $25 billion in ad revenue in 1985, the Associated Press says.
“While the economy has slowly improved since 2009, newspaper ad sales continue to wane due to customers’ shift toward online advertising. Newspaper advertising totaled $7.3 billion in the last three months of 2010, down 4.7 percent from the prior year.”
Online ad revenue was up 10.9 percent last year to $3.04 billion after two years of decline, says Radio & Television Business Report. “All other ad categories were negative, although they did not repeat the double-digit percentage declines seen for two straight years (three for classified). National advertising fell 4.6 percent to $4.22 billion; retail was off 9.1 percent to $12.93 billion; and classified dropped 8.6 percent to $5.65 billion.”
NAA President and CEO John Sturm said advertising has shown signs of a continued turnaround and an essential repositioning. “Newspapers – in print and digital form – remain the largest source of original, high-quality news and information in the United States, reaching nearly two-thirds of all adult Internet users and attracting more than 164 million people who read a newspaper in print or online each and every week.”