Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
May 2009


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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Pricewaterhouse Coopers Study Finds Newspapers Have Future
Maximize Your SRDS Listing Today
Information & Resource Guide Update
Events Calendar
MediaNews To Charge For Online Content
McClatchy City Newspapers Charge For TV Section
Tips & Techniques: Publicity Guidelines

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

SwaySway
Star Media Group
Toronto, ON

Sway is a glossy lifestyle magazine for Caribbean, Continental African and Black Canadians with a voice that reflects the successes, accomplishments and price of Canada's Black communities. Sway is available for free pick up at street boxes, racks, retail stores, community centers and all Subway and GO stations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Loomis NewsLoomis News
Gold Country Media
Roseville, CA

Loomis News is a community newspaper available at racks and delivered to homes in and around the Loomis area. Features includes news section, classifieds and more.


Utah CEO
Utah CEO
Media One of Utah
West Valley City, UT

Utah CEO is a monthly magazine that serves Utah's statewide business community, with a particular focus on the Wastach Front from Ogden to the north and Provo to the south. Published under the tagline of "forward thinking," Utah CEO contains news, features, profiles, how-to articles and other content to assist business leaders with decision making and to inform them of what is happening with the state's economy.


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Pricewaterhouse Coopers Study Finds Newspapers Have Future

by Jennifer Armor

Moving into multiple business models: Outlook for Newspaper Publishing in the Digital AgePricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC), along with the World Association of Newspapers, recently released a new report on the global outlook of the newspaper industry. The study, titled "Moving into Multiple Business Models: Outlook for Newspaper Publishing in the Digital Age," interviewed 4,900 consumers, 30 newspaper publishers, and 10 advertisers and media agencies across the world.

In the executive summary, PWC provided some key findings for the newspaper industry.

  • Print provides the largest revenue source for papers. This will remain the case for some time, but online has huge potential for growth.
  • Papers still have a future and will coexist with other media. However, papers may not look like they do today and there may be more high-profile casualties along the way.
  • Consumers place high value on deep insight and analysis by journalists but do not see value in general news.
  • There is a market for high-value online content on specific topics. Consumers are willing to pay for this content, but newspapers have to find ways to monetize it.
  • Papers have to earn their readers' trust. Whether print, online, mobile, or otherwise, the medium is secondary to the brand.
  • Video in online news sites gives readers' the TV-like experience they prefer for news. It gives papers the opportunity to capture television audiences as well as their print readership.
  • Some papers still have yet to fully review their business models to take full advantage of the innovations in the marketplace and the demands of consumers.
  • Despite their widespread adoption, especially among those under the age of 35, mobile devices are still low on the list of preference for accessing news due to the difficulty in reading it.
  • Sustainability is increasingly important in the industry. Readers place high value on publishing companies who use sustainable production methods.
  • For advertisers, access to mass markets will remain a key part of their overall marketing strategy. However, as more of their budget moves online, papers have to develop innovative packages that combine print and online to secure future advertising dollars.
  • Niche audiences demand specialized, targeted and relevant information. This creates an opportunity for papers to provide hyperlocal information for a focused consumer. Equally specialized advertisers then have an opportunity to reach these consumers. This is especially true in the U.S.

Said David Moss, Director of Entertainment and Media at PWC, "I was pleasantly surprised with how well the senior executives we interviewed understood the problems and how well they could articulate them."

PWC forecasts that the global newspaper market will decline by 10.2% this year and average a 2% compound annual decrease up to 2013. Publishers surveyed said they do not anticipate a recovery to begin before 2011.


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Maximize Your SRDS Listing Today

SRDS Media SolutionsEvery free-standing publication that accepts advertising is entitled to a listing in SRDS Media Solutions (www.srds.com). SRDS is the leading source for connecting media buyers and sellers. It provides the quality data and search capabilities that meets media buyers' needs. Buyers researching a DMA look to SRDS to find their best media options.

SRDS has provided Verified with a 45-day temporary username and password that allows our clients to review their SRDS listing. Please review it immediately to confirm that the information in the listing is correct. If it is not, this is your chance to fix it and include any missing information.

Username: vac
Password: srds

Providing accurate and updated information to SRDS allows you to maximize your listing and helps media buyers find you.

If you have any question, contact Verified at 415-461-6006.


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Verified Information & Research GuideInformation & Resource Guide Update

The 2009 rendition of Verified's Information & Resource Guide is now available at www.verifiedaudit.com. Click on the link below to view the newest version as a digital edition in RealRead®, or you can download it as a PDF. You will need your username and password to access the guide. There is a guide for magazines and a guide for newspapers.

 

Verified Information & Resource Guide

 

Further questions? Contact Verified at 415-461-6006.

 



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Events Calendar

Florida Press Association Annual Convention
July 9 – 11, 2009
West Palm Beach, FL
www.flpress.com

Stanford Professional Publishing Course
July 11 – 17, 2009
Palo Alto, CA
publishingcourses.stanford.edu

Poynter McCormick Big Ideas/Best Practices Conference
July 12 – 15, 2009
St. Petersburg, FL
www.poynter.org

MPA Maximizing Ad Sales Even in Difficult Times
July 14 – 15, 2009
New York, NY
www.magazine.org

ASBPE National Editorial Conference
July 15 – 17, 2009
Washington, DC
www.asbpe.org/conf/conf.htm

California Newspaper Publishers Association Quarterly Meeting
July 16 – 17, 2009
Sacramento, CA
www.cnpa.com

Oregon Newspaper Publishers Summer Publishers Convention
July 16 – 17, 2009
Redmond, WA
www.orenews.com

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information
to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com.
 


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MediaNews to Charge for Online Content

MediaNews to Charge for Online ContentIn a move that may herald the end of the era of free newspaper content, the MediaNews Group said this week it will begin charging for online content from all of its newspapers, including big regional dailies like The Denver Post and The Detroit News. But the move begs the question: Will readers pay for something they're used to getting for free?

The precise details of the MediaNews plan have not been disclosed, but management revealed its broad outlines in a memo to staffers released two weeks after an executive conference on interactive media.

First, MediaNews said it will stop reproducing all its print content online, meaning that some stories will only appear in the newspapers. Second, online content will be crafted to reach a younger audience; and third, online users who are not subscribed to the print edition will be required to register and pay a fee to read stories online.

While they have managed to attract substantial online audiences, newspapers have failed to build online revenues to match, the MediaNews executives noted in their memo. As they explained, this is largely the result of excessive reliance on online classifieds, which have tanked in the face of competition from free services like Craigslist.

One of the main goals of MediaNews is "decoupling" online revenues from classifieds, requiring either more online advertising or subscription fees.

Describing the new strategy for monetizing content, the memo noted: "We are not trying to invent new premium products, but instead, tell our existing print readers that what they are buying has real value, and to our online audience (who don't buy the print edition), that if you want access to all online content, you are going to have to register, and/or pay. To be clear, the brand value proposition to the consumer is that the newspaper is a product, whether in print or online, which must be paid for."

A major revamp of strategy always carries risks. MediaNews conceded as much in outlining its new approach to websites, warning: "We must not alienate [the current audience] as we strive to expand our audience and attract younger people [who are] non-newspaper subscribers."

However, MediaNews did not address a potentially more serious question: Whether readers will balk at paying for something they're accustomed to getting for free. A number of analysts and pundits have asserted they will not. There are a few instances of newspapers that have been successful charging for content, including The Wall Street Journal.

But the WSJ is unique—an authoritative source of financial news, with a narrower focus (and therefore greater expertise) in this area than other general news publications. Among the rest, national and international news has been commoditized; the same information can be obtained from a variety of different sources, including free sites like CNN.com and aggregators like Google and Yahoo. This reality leaves local news as the key selling point for most newspapers. It is unknown yet whether this is enough of a value proposition to persuade younger readers to pay for the information.

2009 MediaPost Communications

 


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McClatchy City Newspapers Charge For TV Section

The McClatchy CompanyThree McClatchy-owned papers have begun charging subscribers extra this month to receive the stand-alone TV sections that have been staples of Sunday papers for decades. In Miami, Sacramento and Tacoma, Washington, subscribers now have to "opt-in" to get the supplement and then pay a 25-cent charge.

Another McClatchy paper, the Kansas City Star, implemented the policy in April. The decisions to institute the changes were made by the papers individually and not after a mandate from the McClatchy corporate office. Efforts to cut costs are at the heart of the switch.

Both Sacramento and Tacoma launched the program on Sunday, and dips in circulation were drastic, as expected. At the Sacramento Bee, approximately 220,000 papers were delivered to home subscribers. Only 23,000 received the TV section—about 10%, the paper said.

In Tacoma, about 100,000 papers were delivered to subscribers, with 2,900 receiving the TV section—about 3%.

Both papers will continue to offer the TV section in papers sold on newsstands. Miami switched to the 25-cent-per-week charge on May 3 but continues to include the section in single copies it sells.

Subscribers can "opt-in" to continue receiving the TV section by calling the papers or signing up online. The Sacramento paper had promoted the need for subscribers to do so for five weeks before the switch.

Both the Sacramento Bee and the Miami Herald promised that the sections—which for years have carried the full program listings for the week ahead—would include more content as subscribers were forced to pay the 25 cents. The Bee's"OnTV" now includes a soap opera digest and synopses of TV movies. The Herald promised an expansion to 36 pages.

In Tacoma, there were plans at The News Tribune to expand from 16 to 20 pages with some added columns, but the recession's deepening effects halted that.

David Zeeck, the publisher in Tacoma, wrote to readers on May 10 that the new 25-cent charge was made to save "tens of thousands of dollars in annual newsprint costs." In an interview, he estimated it could be more than $50,000 a year. (The paper remains profitable, he said.)

But the move, Zeeck also wrote, is a reaction to changing consumer behavior. Viewers are increasingly turning to on-screen listings for their lineup information—a conundrum that impacted TV Guide and forced major changes at the magazine several years ago.

Zeeck said that while he believes "the recession hastened" the switch with papers needing to cut costs, some sort of cutback in the publication of TV listings was likely to come nonetheless. "I think it was coming anyway," he said.

Still, fewer supplements distributed means at least some drop in publicity for networks, especially when their shows appear on the cover with an appealing photo.

Several years ago, major circulation drops at Sunday TV supplements could have impacted networks and local stations as they used the sections to advertise. But programmers have cut back significantly, not to mention the sections have very few ads in general anymore. In Tacoma, Comcast sponsored the whole section, but that has stopped.

Melanie Sill, editor of the Sacramento paper, wrote to readers on May 10 that the Bee has "stopped distributing the book to people who don't want it...I think this is a great solution for a part of the paper that is extremely valuable to a significant minority of our readership."

2009 MediaPost Communications


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Tips & Techniques: Publicity Guidelines

One of the benefits of an audit from Verified is the ability to use your audited figures in sales presentations, media kits and other promotional materials. However, there are certain guidelines that govern the use of these numbers. You'll find they promote an atmosphere of fairness and are generally simple common sense.

Below are the guidelines you need to follow when you are publicizing your Verified audit figures:

  • All copies of audit reports, publisher's statements and other related reports must be obtained from Verified.
  • Reference to average total qualified circulation figures must include the source report name and time period covered by the report (i.e., December 2008 Audit Report). Detailed analysis quoted from any Verified report must be accompanied by a similar reference, as well as all qualifying statements relating to the analysis exactly as it is stated on the report.
  • Figures reported on the most recent publisher's statement or audit report must be used in sales presentations and other promotional materials. Quarterly averages, prior averages or other figures from Verified's reports may be used, but they must be used along with circulation figures from the current report.
  • Clients may not claim or imply Verified as the authority for any figure, data or statements except the actual figures, data and statements as they appear literally in the reports with the supplemental captions and the explanations as used in the report. Circulation data not audited by Verified may not be used in conjunction with Verified audited data. For example, reader surveys conducted by the client cannot be used in combination with Verified's audited data.
  • Clients may not reproduce correspondence with Verified or excerpts of that correspondence without written permission from Verified.
  • Clients may not in any manner make public audit reports or publisher's statements prior to their final release by Verified.
  • Verified's name, or a reference to Verified, may be not used with any circulation data except that which has appeared in a valid report released by Verified.
  • Data from Verified's market research studies and field verification or any individual results or findings contained in these types of reports may be published by the client. It should identify Verified as the source of the data and include the date and the name of the report from which it came.

Verified would be happy to review your media kits or other promotional materials prior to publishing to confirm that they meet publicity guidelines, free of charge. For any questions about Verified's publicity guidelines, call Verified at 415-461-6006 or refer to the Information & Resource Guide on our website at www.verifiedaudit.com.


Please send comments and story ideas to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6006
415.461.6007 fax


2009 Verified Audit Circulation.