Sunday, June 29, 2008

Newspaper money problems

We've all heard much about shrinking revenues at newspapers, and all the hand wringing over what to do. The blame usually goes on shrinking ad revenue, of course, since that and sales and subscriptions account for pretty much their entire revenue stream.

Judging by the Statesman, it seems to feature as many ads as ever, and I still get pounds of ads in the Sunday edition, so I was wondering about shrinking ad revenue.

Well, I got a big hint today. My daughter is looking for a summer job as a waitress or for a caterer, so I checked out the Statesman's classified ads. I haven't looked for a job for a few years, but remember that Sunday was a huge day for job ads. Health care alone usually took up a full page or more. Anyway, today I was shocked at how few job ads were in the paper. A couple of pages. Lots of categories with no job listings. Zero listings for waitresses, short order cooks, etc.

Classifieds were always pretty expensive, and I guess the lack of them is hitting hard.


slfisher said...

I knew people who used to do a 'health of the economy' index by dividing the number of things-for-sale ads by help-wanted ads.

Sisyphus said...

I've been doing the same thing with my son. Sign of the times.

ericn1300 said...

The internet is killing their classified ad revenue and I love it. I used to have to pay $800 a week to run a help wanted ad, now it's free on Check them out, 6 to over 10 new ads per day in food/beverage/hospitality. also check out

alan said...

Yeah, I agree that the classifieds were a bit of a monopoly rip off, especially for help wanted ads. Ya know, if you make your money by such advertising and you're starting to see every employer list a "Jobs" web page, and you see Craig's list and etc., don't you think you spring into action.

Lower prices, put the ads on your website and include a link to the employer, offer a weekend special, something. Don't just lie there and wish it away. Easy for me to say with hindsight, except that it's still happening.