Newspapers still need print edition, exec at Projo parent saysNovember 9th, 2011 at 9:21 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
A top executive at The Providence Journal’s parent company says he’s hopeful a shift toward getting more money from subscribers and less from advertisers will help its papers weather the storm.
“We don’t have an audience problem,” Jim Moroney, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, told students and faculty at the University of Texas at Austin last week. The problem is the failure of digital advertising revenue to match the rates the company gets for print. “Advertising is not a dependent source of revenue going forward,” he said.
The share of the Projo’s revenue that comes from advertising sales has fallen from 82% in 2005 to 56% in the first nine months of this year, according to SEC filings. Circulation’s share rose from 17% to 36%, and the paper has also been signing more printing and distribution contracts. Moroney cited similar trends at his paper in Dallas.
But the print edition remains vital. Moroney said ads on DallasNews.com would generate a maximum of $14 million in annual revenue at current rates, compared with roughly $90 million from print circulation.
The newspaper business is in “a transition and that’s hard,” he said. A video of Moroney’s presentation is posted after the jump.
• Related: Full Projo paywall set for 2012 as advertising sales slump 11% (Nov. 3)