Dirk Knemeyer

The decline of the newspaper industry

The decline of the newspaper industry, March 22, 2011

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

The newspaper industry continues to bemoan their fate, most recently with Bob Woodward claiming that Eric Schmidt killed newspapers. This is in the wake of reports that newspaper ad revenue is at a 25 year low. My question is “why is this new or of interest to anyone?” I remember way back in 2000 being responsible for recommending media buys for some large companies. Well, even then I was pushing anything but print. The cost-to-benefit ratio was atrocious, with the print ads proving incredibly expensive impact-wise compared to TV, radio, internet, almost anything. More than a decade ago one didn’t have to be a genius to see what a crummy deal newspaper advertising was. So now, many years later, with internet advertising so mature, why are we even mildly surprised people are running away from the bizarrely overvalued print option in favor of targeted and affordable digital? Die already newspapers. You had the chance to change your business model to remain relevant and thriving and you chose to rest on your centuries-old laurels… with the possible exception of the New York Times. Well, congratulations. Your combination of greed and lack of vision has ruined your entire industry. Don’t blame Eric Schmidt, you only have yourselves to blame. Try to die with dignity and let the work move on.