Will the last person to leave the newsroom please turn out the lights?

This is what a death spiral looks like.

newspaper revenue


According to Pew Research Center’s annual State of the Media report, newspaper print revenue — advertising and circulation — continues to fall, while digital revenues — advertising and paywalls — are stagnant.

With the advent of the Internet, newspapers began to rapidly lose classified ad revenue due to competition from such things as eBay. To maintain profits, newspapers cut expenses in the form of reporters and copy editors. Content and quality suffered, so circulation fell. This cut revenue from paid subscribers, but also cut ad revenue which is priced according to readership. Thus more cost cutting, leading to … well you get the picture.

Total newspaper newsroom staffing has fallen from 56,400 in 2000 to 36,700 in 2013.

Circulation has declined almost every year.


5 comments on “Will the last person to leave the newsroom please turn out the lights?

  1. John Ridgeway says:

    I, for one, quit my subscriptions to the Washington Times and others because the adds do not allow you read the articles. In the other Bum Wads you only get “Abridged Press.” Never factual stories. I don’t like an opinion. I want facts.

  2. Steve says:

    I worked for Eastman Kodak…I can say with feeling…I really felt that pain.
    Shrinkage and starting a new employer as a result….sucks worse.

    I still watch what film processing is doing…niche. That is what it is becoming. Niche.

    I don’t see the same for newsprint and that is bad for Kodak again! The only thing they make now are printing presses…Digimaster, Nexpress and Prosper…and dry plates. Yeah…shrinkage is in their future too. They have a large presence in print shops and newspapers…

    I know what you are saying as you watch your industry fall apart. It was part of mine too.

    AND I am not liking my new place of employment at all!!!!! Aggghhhhh!

  3. Winston Smith says:

    Hopefully the industry doesn’t start asking for government subsidies, since Pravda would be next.

  4. bc says:

    I intend to see a paper land on my front steps till the day I finish this tour of earth. I just hope there is a paper to land there…

    I do not know who will do the news if not for the papers, TV does not have the attention span and radio gave up the gig years ago. All they do on the radio is read the paper.

    Blogs are good, I enjoy this one of Tom’s. But that is not the news. Who is going to sit through the city council meetings and school board meetings, legislative committee meetings, sift through the police blotter and high school sports results? Who will sit through the interviews for the down ballot positions that affect a great deal of our tax money?

    For all the ruckus about “truth” truth is an opinion by those who hold that particular view, and so are “facts”. Most of what I read in the paper and look for is a writer trying to make sense out of observations and present those observations to the best of their ability and to attempt to do so without bias. It is up to me to read the reporters observations and come up with my own opinion of “truth”. That is what I have always read in papers throughout the country both left and right leaning.

    Now the opinion pages and columns I expect to be the writer’s opinion. I want to read things I agree with and I want to be challenged in my opinions by those I don’t agree with.

    This is all in the newspaper and what I look for each morning. If we lose the newspaper, I fear for our republic because the presentation of observations will be lost and the yelling from the tree tops we see on TV and in politics will be our only source of info.

  5. That is my point precisely, bc.

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