• Jeff Matthews

Blame It On Easter

The major media chains, and the minor ones, too, all seem to have one thing in common: business stinks.

Said the New York Times:

“Our large-market newspapers, The Times and The Globe, were flat or down in advertising revenues in the quarter, as categories such as telecommunications and banking were adversely affected by industry consolidation. Our largest properties were also affected by the timing of Easter…”

Said the Dow Jones Company’s Peter Kann, a gloriously incapable executive who has, nonetheless, retained his position as chief architect of that franchise’s erosion:

“We continue to battle a persistently difficult B2B (business-to-business) print advertising climate particularly in the technology category…. However, heading into the second quarter, we are cautiously optimistic that advertising trends will improve.”

Said the Tribune, where advertising revenues were up a non-whopping 2%:

“Newspaper advertising revenue growth was solid in January and February, although March was negatively impacted by the timing of the Easter holiday. In television, our results reflected overall industry softness and the impact of Local People Meters in our major markets.”

No apologies from Yahoo, however, where advertising revenue rose 54%. And the total dollars involved–a billion worth–are not trivial any more. Online is firmly where it’s at.

And you would think the media chains would clearly understand that, because every one of them noted strong growth in their online sites–30% at the New York Times alone. But they somehow fail to make the inverse connection to the decline in their core business.

Instead, they blame it on Easter–which apparently came out of the blue and without warning on March 27th. And, of course, the dreaded and terribly disrupting Local People Meters.

It’s always something.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

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The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice. It should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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