Friday, July 13, 2018

Magazines are NOT the answer, newspaper owners / publishers

For community sized dailies, and even more nondailies, magazines aren't the answer to continued struggles. They're certainly not "THE answer."

Any county of less than, say, 50,000, from my experience, they should not be considered the answer. They may be a part of a partial answer. Don't expect more.

First, while you may get a few advertisers who say they wouldn't advertise in a regular newspaper, or even newspaper special sections, it won't be that many. Half of your magazine ads will be cannibalizing. Related to that, if a biz advertises in both that magazine and your newspaper, but has separate accounts on its books, it will suddenly hit advertising annual budget redlines quicker than normal, and leave you dry for the rest of the year.

Second, all of this was true even before the Trump paper tariffs.

Magazine slick, or even lower grade semi-slick, is getting even pricier than regular broadsheet. And, speaking of separate accounts, if you the newspaper publisher or owner aren't running separate accounts for the magazine yourself, how do you know you're not even losing money there?

Case in point from latest issue of a magazine within the eastern front.

A 15 percent adhole? And, since all pages are in color, there's no special charge for color ads?

The one after that was better, at more than 20 percent. But the one after THAT was 12 percent or so.

December 2018 issue? Worse. Flat 10 percent.

I'll be dollars to donuts, even with all content from salaried staff or John and Jane Q. Public, there's a 50 percent chance that first one lost money, and certainly the third one.

Let's also not forget that many of these magazines are given away free, even if they have a cover price that's basically purely nominal.

(Oh, and not all papers in the same chain do them monthly; papers twice the size only do bimonthly ones.)

No comments: