Newspapers Take Another Big Hit

Posted on 12/19/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

There has been so much talk about the decline of newspapers that many readers surely ask why they should care, particularly since sales to newspapers represent such a small percent of the stock-photo business. However, trends at newspapers are strong indicators of what many believe will happen with magazines and other information suppliers in the not too distant future.

Now, two major newspapers are about to drastically reduce circulation. The Detroit Media Partnership, which prints Gannett’s Detroit Free Press and MediaNews’ Detroit News, has announced that it will cease daily paper delivery during the first quarter of 2009. The new, scaled back publishing plan is to only deliver papers to homes three days a week: Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Papers will still be printed and delivered to newsstands daily, but most industry observers think that customers used to getting their paper at their doorstep will not bother to buy it at newsstands at a much higher per-edition price.

Detroit is the tenth largest newspaper market in the United States. In effect, these papers are telling readers that if they want to know what’s happening from Sunday morning through Wednesday, they must go to the Internet or television. Hopefully, when readers turn online, they will go to the newspapers’ Web sites and elsewhere. Granted, Detroit, the home of auto companies nearing bankruptcy, is a market in pain, but it seems unlikely that newspaper distribution can ever go back to daily once it has been cut down.

The future for news and information is obviously online, but there is no indication that online ad revenues will ever come close to what they have been in print. This will have a severe impact on what these publications will be able to pay for both editorial and advertising pictures. These papers are also asking their unions for a 9% reduction in work force, and that may not be nearly enough.

Kubas Consultants, which specializes in analyzing newspaper advertising, recently released the results of a survey of more than 400 daily newspaper executives and managers. These people have based their 2009 budgets on the expectations that newspaper advertising will be 12% below 2008 levels in the first half of next year. They expect advertising to recover somewhat in the second half, for an overall 2009 downturn of 9%, but there may be a lot of wishful thinking involved when looking six months into the future. “The severity of expected declines is remarkable. The outlook has very much deteriorated compared to a year ago,” according to Kubas.

Copyright © 2008 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:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff