Much of my life has been involved with the publishing business, as an executive and publishing company owner. I was a print journal publisher and a custom publisher of printed products, so I love ink on paper.
In the peak of my time, the business was simple.
You had to prove to advertisers that you could “reach” the target audience. Then you had to prove that the target audience attended your product by reading it.
Advertisers were lured to place their ads adjacent or on the pages with proven high readership.
The entire process was audited by objective service bureaus that would verify both reach (circulation) and readership.
The product included editorial and graphics. It included advertising. To make money, the ratio of editorial to advertising had to be proportionately correct.
Advertising rates included the total cost of production including management, editorial, distribution and mailing amortized over the product pages. Advertisers examined the cost per reach and readership percentage to determine value.
Today, convert some of the reach and receivership to digital means versus paper. Combine some paper and digital and the formulas for keeping track get more complicated. For advertisers the business is riskier and in an unstable economy it gets even more risky.
Add to this that the internet is filled with competing channels and people (readers and viewers) are overloaded.
There was an old saying in the publishing business that “paid is beautiful.” That referred to publications for which there are paying subscribers. That means, readers like the product so much they will pay for part of the cost for quality and entertainment. That is evidence to advertisers that readers are loyal.
In our noisy world of communications, I would think that a good argument could be made for custom communications of products that people believe are beautiful in print and delivered to their door.
Our world is a mix now of digital and print, with print vanishing. I don’t know yet if that is a good thing or bad. What do you think?
“US publisher in bankruptcy prepares to lay off 844 staff
A leading US newspaper publisher, the Journal Register Company, appears ready to make hundreds of its staff redundant.
According to a Detroit News report, Journal Register has filed notice with a bankruptcy court in which it says it plans to lay off 844 employees in the state of Michigan.
They include 131 editorial staff, 295 in operations, 156 in advertising, 125 in circulation and 92 in administration plus three executives.
These redundancies will occur once the company sells most of its assets to 21st CMH Acquisition, an affiliate of the New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
Jonathan Cooper, a vice president with the Journal Register division responsible for Michigan papers, Digital First Media, described the redundancy notices sent employees as “the next step in the company’s ongoing sale process.”
However, it is possible that the new owners could rehire some staff after completing the acquisition.
Journal Register, which has newspapers in 10 states, has filed for bankruptcy protection twice in three years.
Source: Detroit News”