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Charleston Deals Today
The Sun News – MyrtleBeachOnline.com
Atlanta Daily World
An April Reuters poll of 1,230 of its readers found that people valued quality news but just don't want to pay for it. Readers said that a news brand was synonymous with trust, but two-thirds of them said that they wouldn't pay for news, no matter its quality.
From Digiday | READ MORE
One of history's most successful investors is powerless to reverse the long-term secular decline in the newspaper business, judging by an interview with Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett published by USA Today.
With characteristic frankness, the "Oracle of Omaha" admitted to being stumped by the local newspaper business, but also vowed he was in for the long haul.
In the interview with USA Today columnist Rem Rieder, Buffett conceded, "We haven't cracked the code yet. Circulation continues to decline at a significant pace, advertising at an even faster pace. The easy cutting has taken place. There's no indication that anyone besides the national papers has found a way."
On that note, Buffett said he thinks cutbacks have already had a big impact on the quality of many newspapers, further diminishing their chances of a successful turnaround. "They don't tell me as much news as three years ago, let alone 10 years ago. They are a fair amount worse off, and not one is bucking that trend, even in prosperous communities. There's less and less in the newspaper."
According to Buffett, a large part of newspapers' difficulty transitioning online can be traced back to the original decision to give away digital content for free, which he characterized as a mistake.
Despite the negative overall trends, Buffett declared that he has no intention of parting with his recent investments in the category. "We would never sell a newspaper. I want to be the last guy standing." Berkshire Hathaway's media group currently owns 32 daily newspapers and 47 weekly newspapers across the U.S., most of them in small and mid-sized markets.
While Buffett generally eschews vanity or pet investments, bemused Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have accepted that the investment guru has a special fondness for newspapers, which they appear ready to indulge in view of their relatively small size compared to his bigger corporate investments.
To put the Berkshire Hathaway Media business in perspective, during one of his newspaper acquisition sprees from 2012–2013, Buffett spent $344 million to buy 28 daily newspapers.
By contrast, 2013–2015 also saw Berkshire Hathaway's $23 billion takeover of Heinz ahead of the latter's $40 billion merger with Kraft. The newspaper deal was just 1.5% the size of the Heinz deal.
© 2016 MediaPost Communications
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Newsstand sales of consumer magazines continued to decline in the beginning of 2016, according to the latest figures from MagNet, which tracks single-copy sales across the U.S. and Canada.
The number of magazines distributed by wholesalers also dropped compared to last year.
The total number of magazines distributed by wholesalers in the U.S. fell from 369.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 to 334.8 million in the first quarter of 2016, for a 9.3% decline over this period.
The number of magazines actually sold fell 10.1% from 98 million to 88.1 million, meaning that the proportion sold slipped from 26.6% to 26.3%.
Newsstand sales in dollar volume fell from $509.8 million to $481.5 million, for a roughly 5.6% drop. In the same report, MagNet saw a 7.5% drop in Canadian newsstand sales over this period, from 14.6 million copies to 13.5 million.
Out of 20 categories tracked by MagNet altogether, 14 saw total newsstand sales decrease over this period.
Turning to specific categories, some of the biggest drops in newsstand sales hit business and finance, down 27.9% to one million copies sold; health and fitness, down 19.9% to 4 million copies sold; home and garden, down 15.7% to 5.1 million copies sold; and celebrity, down 13.7% to 26.6 million copies sold.
MagNet noted that the proportional declines in overall newsstand sales in terms of magazines and dollar volumes are actually smaller than in previous quarters, providing something of a silver lining to the latest figures.
However, any optimism will be tempered by the fact that the latest round of declines comes on top of eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year losses in 2014–2015.
© 2016 MediaPost Communications
Verified is proud to announce that the Audit Guidelines 2016 will be available in July 2016. The audit guide includes updated information and new guidelines for magazines and newspapers.
To download the updated guidelines, go to Verified's website, select Members and then Procedures & Regulations on the left side of the page. Audit Guidelines 2016 is available along with other audit training and information materials.
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