Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Morning Brief: Sinking McClatchy looks to digital, but a bit late in the game; drama last night on the west coast

The NYT iPad app just sent me this push notification: "White House Releases Long Form of President Obama's Hawaii Birth Certificate." Guess that will dominate the news this morning.

I almost choked when I read the quote from McClatchy's CEO Gary Pruitt at the end of a story yesterday in the NYT: Ad revenue will be the lion’s share of our digital revenue from now on into the future. We’re comfortable with that.”

Had I read that in 1999 I might have been impressed, but 2011. A little late there guys.
McClatchy had just reported another quarter to disappointing earnings, this time a loss of $2 million for the quarter. Revenue from the same time period was down almost ten percent, with print advertising leading the way south.

Pruitt pointed to stronger digital advertising numbers, up slightly over ten percent, as good news. But with McClatchy lagging behind other newspaper chains in its digital media efforts, it is hard to feel good about the chain's future. Currently the company has 14 mobile apps in the App Store, but only two for Android. McClatchy has yet to launch a tablet edition for any of its newspapers.

(To make matters worse, the company's iPhone app for the Sacramento Bee is so buggy that it won't load content and eventually crashes. Apparently readers have given up on the company updating the app because readers have stopped posting complaints in the App Store and are just staying away.)

Speaking of late: it was a late night last night. The Canucks and the Blackhawks battled late into the evening, west coast time, before Vancouver finally scored the winning goal in overtime. It was great drama.