Friday, January 20, 2006

LA Times Decline Continues!

The Los Angeles Times is a marginally better paper than it was a year ago; yet its advertising revenues continue to not just decline, but plummet.

The problem is that the improvements - other than the occasional blockbuster expose - are too subtle for the average reader will observe and there are so many physical and structural barriers to reading the printed paper, that the paper's physical design drives away readers.

Unless dramatic change starts now, it is hard to imagine anything resembling the present paper being published five years from now.

From the Los Angeles Business Journal:

L.A. Times Drags on Tribune Revenue

Tribune Company's December newspaper ad revenue fell 4.5 percent to $333.2 million, the company reported Thursday, reflecting a 9.6 percent slump from national advertising that was blamed on weak ad sales at the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago-based company's largest paper.


Full-run ad volume at the Times plunged 13.9 percent from December of last year. In addition to the Times and Newsday, Tribune owns its namesake paper in Chicago.

More details are in the Tribune's press release:

National advertising revenues declined 9.6 percent, due largely to declines at the Los Angeles Times. Movie, technology and wireless categories were down, partially offset by gains in the health care and package goods categories.

Classified advertising revenues rose 2.5 percent due to gains in help wanted and real estate, which rose 13 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Automotive classified advertising fell 16 percent. Interactive revenues, which are primarily included in classified, were $15 million, up 33 percent, due to strength in all categories.

Circulation revenues were down 3.5 percent primarily due to volume declines at most of the company’s newspapers and selectively higher discounting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It doesn't help that LA's economy, in spite of all the bluster from the type of people associated with local rah-rah groups, is increasingly a poor-man's economy, made up of many who aren't exactly fluent in English, much less eager to subscribe to (or even read) a quality English-language daily.