Media planners can provide real insight into who is reading what, when and where. I wonder how much of PR practioners enthusiasim for the media is guided by emotions rather than hard data? Tim Porter recently posted on some of the trends taking place in the more popular regionals. It ain’t a pretty picture:
- San Francisco Chronicle (down 16.6%): ""We cut a lot of what you would call unprofitable circulation around the first of the year. We made a decision that we want quality, profitable circulation that better serves our advertisers." – Publisher Frank Vega.
- Chicago Tribune (down 2.5%): "A report this year by Northwestern University’s Media Management Center estimated only 9 percent of people in their 20s will read a newspaper daily by the year 2010 if current trends continue unabated."
- Boston Globe (down 7.7%): Led with the 4 percent decline in the daily circulation of its tabloid competitor, the Boston Herald, even though the Globe’s percentage decline was higher. (The Globe said it disclosed its own loss a month earlier.)A Globe executive was quoted saying the paper’s "emphasis should be on higher-quality circulation" – a phrase that seems to be a trend (see Chronicle bullet above.)
As Tim says: "One clear trend: Big regional papers are shedding non-core circulation faster than you can say rising fuel costs. This means opportunities for smaller local news outlets (local papers, hyper-local web)."
Romenesko has more on this over at Poynter with this little snippet: "Of the nation’s 20 biggest newspapers, only two — the New York Times and the Star-Ledger of Newark — reported gains in their weekday circulation."