The bad news for the newspaper industry just keeps coming:
A recent article in Advertising Age points to one big reason for these layoffs:
Newspaper ad revenue fell almost $2 billion in the third quarter for a record 18.1% decline, according to new statistics from the Newspaper Association of America. What’s worse, newspapers’ online ad revenue fell for the second quarter in a row.
The historic drop resulted from a worsening economy that sharply exacerbated long-term challenges already confronting the newspaper industry, and it affected all kinds of newspaper ads. National ad sales fell 18.4%, classifieds sank 30.9%, and the biggest category, retail, slid 11.7%. Newspapers’ online ad sales, where everyone is hoping some part of the future business model resides, accelerated their decline with a 3% drop. Online ad sales slipped 2.4% in the second quarter.
This fall’s financial collapse affected only some part of the latest results. However, the rest of the year is likely to look even worse.
The bad news for newspapers has been accompanied by bad news for broadcasters as well. A recent New York Times article, A Generation of Local TV Anchors Is Signing Off, noted:
Across the country, longtime local TV anchors are a dying breed. Facing an economic slump and a severe advertising downturn, many stations have cut costs drastically in the last year, and veteran anchors, with their expensive contracts, seem to be shouldering a disproportionate share of the cutbacks. When station managers are forced to make cuts, hefty anchor salaries are a tempting target.
A drop in advertising revenues is also behind these cuts. The NYT article also notes:
Advertising is falling sharply, partly because of cutbacks in spending by automakers and car dealerships, which represent the single largest category of advertiser for broadcasters.
Of course, someone has to replace those veteran news anchors who are being laid off. As second-tier anchors move up the chain and leave open slots behind them, this may create some openings for more recent grads.