Revenue is just one of the problems facing American newspapers, says a new Project for Excellence in Journalism study. The culture at newspapers, and not just on the editorial side, is as much an impediment to publications finding their way out of the mess they’re in.
The study, called “The Search for a New Business Model,” looked at “highly granular” data from 38 newspapers of various sizes. The data was verified through site visits and interviews, then anonymized and shared with executives at seven more companies. The frankness of the newspaper executives is striking.
• Digital revenue continues to stymie executives. The papers brought in about $1 in digital advertising for every $11 in print. To get to the mythical “crossover point,” at which digital dollars would overtake print, one executive said “was reducing the annual print losses to somewhere between 6% and 8% and growing the digital revenue at a minimum of 30% annually.