‘Print is dead’ — This cliche phrase echos through the print industry, and has now for a few years. There is no doubt that print [specifically newsprint] could follow the way of the dinosaur — a more likely scenario now with a worldwide recession in full swing.
With a large number of media organizations facing threats and ultimatums to drop print altogether, will print eventually disappear? Not likely. For some, the news is grim. For others, their star is rising.
Grim: Seattle P-I (in business for 146 years) was notified by their parent company, Hearst Corp., that they must find a new owner in 60 days — or — Hearst will cease printing their paper. The Seattle P-I also reports that they incurred a loss of $18 million through 2008. Was Seattle P-I growing complacent over 146 years — bringing them to this do-or-die dilemma. It is worth mentioning that Seattle P-I’s online presence generates 4 million unique visitors a month — not worth scuttling just yet I believe.
Rising: In a strong move to migrate its services into the web, Fox News reports that The Financial Times (FT) will cut 80 jobs in its effort to publish online — 5% of its workforce. Through an FT memo CEO John Ridding, cites “deeper integration of print and online teams” and “the launch of new digital publications” in 2009. FT reports online subscribers will push above 1 million this year.
Supporting publishers with their advertising efforts [and another diamond in the rough] is Go Internet Media. Their star is no less than sparkling now — after having reported $10 million in new financing from Kennet Partners — an equity firm who provide funding for advancing technology companies. Go Internet Media have this to say:
“…financing will be used to fund Go Internet Media’s continued rapid growth by expanding its sales force and strengthening its balance sheet.”
For the print industry, the writing is on the wall — consolidate, adopt new technologies and tap complex markets via multiple in-house outlets. Another crucial key in surviving the downturn is print and web integration (topic for another post).
One newspaper tied to one website won’t answer the mail nowadays — unless of course you ‘are’ the NYTimes.