Is There Any Such as the Newspaper Business Anymore?

Posted on 10/8/2010 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Dallas Morning News publisher Jim Moroney III recently sent his staff a memo that said: “We’re no longer a newspaper company. We’re a news media company. The newspaper is just one way we package and distribute the content we publish.”

He pointed out that companies in the newspaper business are still needed, because they “are doing the bulk of local, regional and state government watchdog reporting in our country, reporting that is so critical to a durable democracy,” but they will be delivering their content in a variety of new ways.

However, the traditional model of paying for the news delivered must change. The traditional newspaper model—where advertising is responsible for 80% of the revenue and consumer payments represent 20%—is not sustainable. In the future, “direct payments from consumers will need to account for 50% or more of newspaper companies’ total revenue,” he said.

Moroney pointed out that while historically advertising revenues represented 80% of total revenue, that percentage declined by 8% in 2007, another 17% in 2008, another 24% in 2009—and is down another 9% through the middle of this year.

Yet despite these declines, most newspaper company operations remain profitable. The reason many are suffering is that they took on huge debt prior to 2001 when the slide started and their profits are not large enough to refinance the newly acquired debt.

Moroney also provided a prescription for how newspaper companies can sustain their profitability. Read the whole story on

Copyright © Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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