Another bad year for selling yesterday’s news

This NYT article describes how the dire situation for newspapers turning worse:

Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent decline in May.

“Never in my most bearish dreams six months ago did I think we’d be talking about negative 15 percent numbers against weak comps,” said Peter S. Appert, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. “I think the probability is very high that there will be a number of examples of individual newspapers and newspaper companies that fall into a loss position. And I think it’s inevitable that there will be closures in this industry, and maybe bankruptcies.”

What I find really interesting is the closing paragraph:

The industry will not bottom out for another three or four years, analysts predict. The question, Mr. Appert of Goldman Sachs said, “is how far things will fall before then.”

I am sure during the 80’s there were analyst who could tell you why the decline in the typewriter industry was bottoming out. My prediction is that far from bottoming out, the slide is permanent and inevitable until the business model changes.

Selling yesterday’s news in a form that is expensive to produce and is considered so harmful to the environment that an entire recycling infrastructure must be maintained to deal with it is not a viable business model today.

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