This week we noticed in other media outlets the closure of more regional newspapers, with the closure of the ‘Clare People’ due to falling circulation and ad revenues.
The paper was founded by Avolon chief executive Dómhnal Slattery, who said:
“Unfortunately, our newspaper cannot continue to sustain the losses we have incurred in delivering a quality product to the people of Clare on a weekly basis in the face of consistently declining circulation and advertising revenues. “As a consequence of the rapid impact of the internet and free online platforms, the marketplace for quality local newspapers has changed fundamentally.”
How did they incur these losses over a prolonged period? Nothing stopping the newspaper generating new revenue online to help offset costs of print.
This is always sad news from a marketing point of view as there is massive value in print media and how it reaches audiences that more modern digital platforms can’t. Whilst it is easy for us to have an opinion, we do have sympathy with the owners, the staff and most importantly the community who did engage.
But…we can’t help but think that whilst circulation and poor advertising revenues where put to blame that maybe this regional paper and many others are not learning to adapt. The owners indicate that it has been fighting to compete since 2005 – that’s 14years to learn to evolve or at least 10years.
Regional papers have an advantage over many emerging forms of new media and are not utilising that reach to form new revenue streams whilst helping existing platforms to evolve. Plus, many of the them carry the physical overheads like offices buildings that are no longer needed.
Look at the Press Association in Ireland, they don’t have offices in Belfast anymore and journalist operate remotely – yet they supply news for print and digital platforms across Ireland.
Some of our team have worked with regional media for years and have helped many of them evolve, if not by providing strategic guidance but by encouraging them doing some healthy horizontal and vertical integration of their media reach.
If you are part of a regional media outlet and don’t want to see it come and go…. Sit down and look at your overheads and evolve. You can still produce the news online and offline if you make some tough decisions and get smart about how people work for you.
Regional News Paper Advertising – We will get around to discussing regional news paper advertising solutions in another article.