Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Naughts: a decade to forget for the trade press

Where were you on New Year's Eve 1999? Were you on break from school? Busy in the newsroom? Selling ad space? Drunk on the coach?

If I were to say that the media world looked a lot different in 1999 than it does today . . . well, there would be no way to measure how much of an understatement that would be. But which medium has suffered more in this decade: newspapers or the trade press? Both have been slammed. But I would lean towards saying that no media segment has been hit worse than B2B.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Will 2010 bring more closings? or less?

I created an animated GIF out of a couple of pages of information from the Paper Cuts Out of Print page which rather graphically shows the accelerating pace of newspaper closings from 2007 to this year.

2009 may have been a record year for newspaper closings, but my guess would be that 2010 will be an even worse year for trade magazines. Many are hanging by a thread now, yet I see very little real change going on in the industry. The reason for this may be that so many titles are owned by financial interests that play the game of musical chairs with their properties -- so hope springs eternal as owners pray that they can dump their properties for only a modest loss (closing properties, therefore, is not a solution they would prefer since it would lower the overall sales price of their companies -- but if the losses are too great then closing is the only way to save their EBITDA based financials).  But this game, of course,  can only be played if there are other financial companies willing to pay inflated prices in order to enter the game.

Monday, December 28, 2009

NYT announces the end of free content . . . seriously

I'm having a real hard time trying to figure out the point of this article: is it simply one of those end-of-the-year prediction stories that old editors force their reporters to write?

Apparently everyone has to do these prediction stories -- Folio:'s Jason Fell is doing a series of interviews along these lines -- so New York Times reporters Richard Pérez-Peña and Tim Arango have been pegged to give us the newspaper-of-record's take on where the media world is going:

Over more than a decade, consumers became accustomed to the sweet, steady flow of free news, pictures, videos and music on the Internet. Paying was for suckers and old fogeys. Content, like wild horses, wanted to be free . . . Now, however, there are growing signs that this free ride is drawing to a close.