The goal of the consultant report is to indicating the problem of steady decline in subscriptions to the paid newspaper not only in metropolitan area and affecting the whole industry. Advertising revenue has also dropped due to advertiser had diverse their ads in different way such as TV broadcast, CNN, CCTV, Internet etc. This report is to offer the management of The Chronicle Gazette a strategic vision of where the newspaper publishing industry stands today and where it is headed over the next decade also propose strategies the newspaper can investigate to survive in the new business environment.
State of the newspaper
The Chronicle Gazette subscription had been fallen by 35% and also advertising revenues also dropped by 28% in past eight years. Refer to Newspaper Association of America’s, newspaper circulation had start declining from year 1993 and keep go on comparing with the index of 2008, there have around 22 % of circulation was gone.
[Total Paid Circulation: Source: Editor and Publisher International Yearbook: – http://www.naa.org/TrendsandNumbers/Total-Paid-Circulation.aspx, accessed on 1st Feb, 2010]
For the advertising revenue have starting to share progressively with internet publishing during year 1997 and the proportion of the total advertising volume had kept increasing comparing with 1997 and 2005 data, there have around 13 times increase of Internet advertisement in volume. Also from the chart we can see the newspaper advertising revenue keep decreasing and Internet advertising revenue keep increasing simultaneity hence that Internet had absorb part of the lose in newspaper ads.
[Advertising Expenditures: – http://www.naa.org/TrendsandNumbers/Advertising-Expenditures.aspx, accessed on 1st Feb, 2010]
[Online advertisement revenue:- http://www.brianmcdaniel.org/2009/04/06/will-online-ad-revenue-beat-newspapers-in-2011/, accessed on 1st Feb, 2010]
According to “The New York Times Company reports 2009 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results”, although the groups revenues had increased from 21.8% to US$36.3M from US$29.8M but look into the details on the advertising revenues had dropped around 25.3% to 30.2% compare with year 2008. The group major revenues income healthy gains in both Internet cost-per-click and display advertising and also in other form of digital advertising to offset the other lose.
[New York Times Press Release: http://www.nytco.com/pdf/4Q_2009_Earnings.pdf, accessed on 13th Feb, 2010]
Referring to the “Newscorp 2009 annual report”, we can indicate that all the media revenue and the operating income had dropped which may lead by Global economic recession reason. The data also showing that the newspaper industry had affected obviously including The Wall Street Journal – the world’s leading business publication. The Wall Street Journal had diverse their business in different area such as enhancing their publishing and advertisement in digital ways and providing different type of subscription to attract more reader and also providing specific personalize information for particular group. Improving the quality of contents and report in more in-depth to build up reader loyalty and convenience.
[http://www.newscorp.com/Report2009/media/Newscorp_2009_annual_report.pdf, accessed on 15th Feb,2010]
3.1 External assessment
Economic downturn forced newspaper to cut costs due to massive revenues decline as a result of global economic downturn. In October 2008, advertising revenues from New York Times Media Group had dropped 15.3% as compare to the same period in 2007.
Social and cultural have no much change recently as people are still willing to pay for newspaper and having circulations. According to the Newspaper Demographic Analysis, the daily and the Sunday readership allocation pattern are mainly focus on Adults over 55 since they can have more leisure time and get used to read newspaper every day.
Demographics of American Newspapers pattern can classifieds as below:-
The “Wall Street Journal” is read by the people who run the country.
The “Washington Post” is read by people who think they run the country.
The “New York Times” is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
“USA Today” is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times.
[http://bitsandpieces.us/2008/07/13/demographics-of-american-newspapers/, accessed on 2nd Feb, 2010]
[http://sify.com/finance/economic-downturn-forces-us-newspapers-to-cut-costs-news-default-jeguQJbdihc.html , accessed on 2nd Feb, 2010]
[http://www.nnnlp.com/newspaper-demographics/, accessed on 2nd Feb, 2010]
Political arena is a large influence upon the regulation of newspaper press freedom of those reported content and the business trading agreements of the region or national or in the state and also for EU, NAFTA, and ASEAN if the newspaper will press outside the state. Economic factors such as the demand and supply or the newspaper industry in both short and long terms, market positioning and the pricing also need to be considered. Social and cultural influence the perception of the newspaper contents and acceptance and what can attract reader to increase the circulation, consider the time will the reader spend on reading that and the layout arrangement of those content and the ordering. Identify the role of men and women within the society and get used to concentrate the aim of selling those people.
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The main factor affecting newspaper industry is Technological force – Internet and other digital media. Being with the digital age, most of the information had been merge or migrate into the virtual world – Internet. People can easily found the information they required for simple a click; some of the information can be accessed by free. One of the major revenue incomes for newspaper industry is advertisement which currently affected by the new challenge of Internet advertisement. Advertiser had starting to switch their advertisement from the traditional print out on newspaper to other media like TV, Fall ads, Road show on the public transportation and the Internet web-site.
Recently, the pop-up advertisements from the Internet web-site are quite popular and some of the major search engine and newspaper web-site had enrolled as well. At the mean time, that advertisement income revenue had keep increasing rapidly and become the major parts of earning for those companies. The major advantages of the online advertisement is the advertiser can sell their services or product in text mode, colorful graphic mode, animated flash graphic or even can record a short video clips with sound for attracting audiences and enhance their perception and image.
Referring to the New York Times president and CEO – Janet Robinson said their coming business strategy is to enhance their digital platform and planning to introducing a paid model for NYTimes.com in 2011 to create additional revenue stream. Hence that other competitor in newspaper industry is exploring other publishing media to maintain their robust advertising business and attracting other new business partners.
Competitive Force – Porter five force analysis:-
[Source from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/66/Porters_five_forces.PNG/800px-Porters_five_forces.PNG]
Porter’s Five-Force model can be use to analysis the newspaper industrial competitive environment.
Threat of new entrants of newspaper publishing can be define as low to medium since the scale economies in the production and sales of newspaper had took advantage by the major newspaper distributor. Some famous brand of advertisement will only post on the popular newspaper and never shown in others. Product differentiation cannot take part in it newspaper industry since the product itself is indifferent and non-standard one. The major entry barriers in newspaper industry is the entry capital is relative high although government have no or less barrier to such industry but the equipments such as camera, printing machines, video recorder are expensive. Also the benefits of associated in newspaper industry is low and also the current distribution channel is almost occupied by other major newspaper. The amount of daily copies is high so the cost per copy of the major newspaper is low and it’s hard to compete with them. Small entrepreneurs have difficulty obtaining supermarket shelf space for their publishing because large retailers charge for space on their shelve and gave priority to the established publishers that can pay for the advertising needed to generate high customer demand. Switching cost is low since the readers had build up loyalty with the current subscribed newspaper and take comfortable of their printing layout and it’s hard for them to switch to read another newspaper easily.
Bargaining power of customer is relative high since there have many other sources to get information from others like Internet, free newspaper which distribute on the street or café and also from train station. Also its un-different and non-standard product which reader can easily found another similar product in the market like NY Times, WSJ, etc. Customer affect an industry through their ability to force down prices and inter-related because they purchases a large proportion of the newspaper and they have potential to integrate backward of the newspaper contents. Alternative vendors of newspaper are plentiful because newspaper is standard or undifferentiated, customer can choose among many newspaper providers and switching to read other newspaper cost is very little or zero. Once the paid newspaper is unimportant to the final quality and customer can be easily substituted it with free newspaper distribute among on the street daily so it make The Chronicle Gazette revenue keep declining.
Bargaining power of suppliers can be classified as medium to high since the important input for issuing newspaper like paper and ink supplier is dominated by a few companies only buy they sells to many. Meanwhile paper, ink and printing factory are unique which had built up a strong relation in between thus switching costs existed. Supplier are able to integrate forward or backward compete directly with their present customers like newspaper company can forward to investee in newspaper or other publishing firm or vise verse.
Threat of substitute product can classify as high since we may notice that the up-trend of online publishing a rapidly increase and the cost-performance ratio comparing with traditional print out newspaper are relatively low and also the content update are most in time and interact. According to Michael Porter, “Substitute limit the potential returns of an industry by placing a ceiling on the prices firms in the industry can profitably charge.” Extent that switching cost is low so substitutes may have strong effect on industry. Customer are switching they platform to read the news from traditional paper printed newspaper to the online version or other free distribute newspaper and sharing the profit in the industry.
Rivalry among industry is high since we may note that the newspaper industry wide revenue trend is down and not only in The Chronicle Gazette, it also affects New York Times, WSJ as mentioned. Referring to the New York Times Company 2009 Full-year report, their total revenues were down 11.5% which show that the top U.S. newspaper is also affected by economic recession and also the new internet revolution. Some type of competition such as price cut is typically highly destabilizing are likely to erode the average level of profitability in newspaper industry like “Apply Daily” firstly launch in HK and just sell at $2 when other traditional selling at $5 which erode the whole industry profitability.
[Internet user trend :-http://www.c-i-a.com/internetusersexec.htm, accessed on 15th Feb,2010]
4. Internal assessment
4.1. Organizational processes and structure
4.2. HR capabilities
Publisher – The publisher is responsible for all of the operations procedure of the newspaper in both editorial team and business team. The main duties and aim of the publisher is to monitor that the newspaper run financially healthy and smoothly.
Editor – The editor is responsible for all the content of the editorial newspaper and monitoring the budgets and cash spent by the editorial and other supplementary of the newspaper. The publisher and editor usually is the same person.
Editorial page editor – The editorial page editor is responsible for the editorial page, supplementary page and also the “op-ed” page for the newspaper. Those pages are the letter printed on the editorial pages like letters to the editor, columns by syndicated columnists and guest columns by local people or oversea senders.
Managing editor – The managing editor is the person who handle and monitor the day-to-day newspaper production and also for the online version as well.
City Editor – The city editor also called the metro editor whom is in charge of the news coverage of the metro-area in which the newspaper is located or distributed. This position is the most important staff for collecting and analysis the news happened in that area. The city editor usually got the largest portion of staff and assigns most of the local news reporters within a organization.
Chief copy editor – The chief copy editor is in charge of the newspaper’s copydesk. The people on the copydesk read news stories and sometimes stories from other sections like through internet to make sure they are written according to the newspaper’s industry standards legally. The chief copy editor can make the final decisions about the copy contents and who is in charge of the staffing of the desk.
Copy editor – The copy editor especially well trained to read the stories that other have written and make sure they conform to the rules of grammar and style. A copy editor also performs headlines writing and performs other duties that help produce the newspaper every day.
Photo editor – The photo editor is not a photographer although he/she is often the case that the photo editor is a promoted from photographer previsely. Photo editor assign photographers and helps select the most outstanding photos that the newspaper will prints.
Photographer – The photographer takes pictures of local or oversea news events’ for the newspaper. Photographer have a variety of assignments each day. Larger newspapers have sports photographers focusing on those event. But in order to cut cost, most newspaper’s photographer will assigned to shoot not only sports stories and sometime will assign for special event shooting..
Graphics editor – The graphics editors is the head of the graphics department sometimes also the “art department”. This editor is in charge of all of the graphics and illustrations produced for the newspaper and online version.
Graphic reporter – The graphic reporter perform researches and designs informational graphics that support news stories for the newspaper. A graphic reporter is an expertise in graphic forms as well as 3D flash animated graphic and must be able to associate the information that can be used to build graphics.
Reporters – Reporters are assigned to all the sections of the newspaper to gather news from anywhere. They gather information about events and subject that the newspaper editors had choose to cover. Reporters must know how to find the useful information, skill for interview people, professional sight for observe events and write the information they gather in a way suitable to the paper.
4.3. Financial position
Revenues are down across the board caused by information is now freely available to the public through the internet. Traditionally news and advertisement are mainly publish in newspaper since newspaper is the major source for getting news around the state or worldwide and also including the advertisement. But nowadays, those information can be freely access through internet and to be more up-to-date information can be reach easily in many other interacted presentation like real time camera of the news location, promoting product with movie clip and sound demonstration and also for example mobile phone, manufacturer starting to use Flash 3D to model the real phone with all feature for reader to try out the new feature and functions of the phone in order make purchasing interest. Advertising market had being share with Internet and other media like television pay TV etc
4.4. Marketing/sales capabilities
The recent marketing trend switching to publish news and other advertisement through Internet and other interactive media. Sales revenue source had switch from newspaper copy to internet base in recent few years. Referring to the New York Times 2009 annual report, newspaper advertising revenues had dropped dramatically and lucky they had develop an online version and trying to adopt the loses from newspaper advertisement and luckily they had get successful reflected by their annual report.
The Chronicle Gazette already had a sales team for handling customer advisement and we only have to restructure those them and make necessary investment on those equipments required for digitalize publishing through Internet or television. Sales capabilities are possible as Chronicle Gazette got strong customer base and both parties had need to keep abreast of the latest technology and also can adopt another segment of customer in order to widen the vision and services base. Also it’s the only way can make survival in this industry as it’s the trend of the coming future.
4.5. Operational capabilities
Operational capabilities can be viewed by value-chain analysis to determine the competitive advantage of Chronicle Gazette, since Chronicle Gazette is a leading newspaper in a major metropolitan area and reaching paid circulation of 225,000 customers and ranked as first-rate newspaper over the years which mean they had built up a strong loyalty with reader. Considering the outbound logistics which approach the newspaper can be distribute on time to the retailer and also can deliver the internet version simiutainstly for subscriber. Inbound logistics like material- paper and ink can deliver to printing factory on time to reach Just-In-Time production is the aim. Operation can be make more efficient like utilize the use of Internet and E-mail to deliver the reports and photos to central office for press release in order the shorten the time and cost. Quality of the reported contents and advertisement must be reviewed by chief editor before press release, organize a clear workflow for each department to avoid any job duplicate and make it work with procedure smoothly.
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Currently Chronicle Gazette have no online version, IT capability require to implement and fund may require for investage in IT equipments like servers, internet access, web-site designer and cam-recorder etc., security issues may also need to consider since some confidential and privacy content may easily expose through internet and somehow each subscriber got different limits of access authority which related to their payment level or country.
4.6. Strengths and weaknesses
Here is the SWOT analysis listed the evaluation of those opportunities and threats in the business environment.
– Stay at the leading newspaper in major metropolitan area.
– High circulation rate and won awards for their hard work over the years.
– Loyalty built up with readers.
– Traditionally style enjoyed with readers.
– Setup online version to compete with other newspaper.
– Providing discount subscription fee for online user to attract customer.
– No online version of newspaper.
– No animated graphic and video clip features.
– Release time restriction due to its printed material.
– Insufficient on online publishing experience.
– Online page layout may not be accepted by old customer.
– High investment for IT equipments.
5.) Marketing Strategy
Recently Chronicle Gazette only sold at retail stores, counter and shop which covered in major metropolitan area and being a leading first-rated newspaper in those area.
Providing web based newspaper for online subscription with discounted price. Providing some free news headline to attract customer and web-surfer to read in-depth and make them hungry for details thereby to become a subscriber.
Also offering classified subscription for subscriber to select what they want to see and removing other unwanted news materials by their account. Setting up a loyalty program for contact base subscription such as subscribe for 2 years will have 20% discount and 1 year with 10% discount offer from Chronicle Gazette.
The 24 hours online version of Chronicle Gazette can be update periodically like 2 to 3 hours for the latest news which can have additional photos and video clips for more details.
In order to take care of the blind people, vocal news report can be also available in the online version. Customize page layout can be personalize to display what they want in the main page and also welcome for subscriber to provide suggestion and new for the editor.
Student subscription in very attractive price and arrange delivery service to their school after the peak hour so that we can utilize the uses of our transportation team and also can maintaining worker have available job to draw the social responsibility out. Additional student supplement post can be attached which those report can be directly related to student or submit by school tutor and student. Q & A forum and some education quiz can be containing in the supplement for enhancing the knowledge of student. Meanwhile we can provide the market requirement for specialist and business trend analysis for student to plan their future job direction. Those attractive package offered to student can build up loyalty and attract them for subscription after graduated.
Strengthen with the connection with Newspaper Association of America for those domestic and oversea newspapers, commercial radio and television broadcasts which have a great opportunity for corporation. Those representative can share the hardship in their group and other organization may providing suggestion and experience to get survival.
All sales strategies through this multi-channel/direction approach with different price strategies can utilize our current asset and production capacity and showing that we have care in all level of people.
6. Steps for The Chronicle Gazette to deal with challenges
The step for The Chronicle Gazette might take in order to deal with the challenges can have the following:-
Short-term plan which react within one year:
Implement the online version of chronicle Gazette and consult with I.T. specialist for setting up the first release. Investigate on those equipments and make necessary funding and financial plan.
Strengthen the current Sales & Marketing team to adopt the new challenges and providing I.T. training and explanation for all staffs.
Reduce the redundant staffs and suggesting early retirement for elderly staff with attractive scheme.
Promoting saving of office electricity, paper and other equipments and cut some un-necessary expense from staff which will not affect their normal report activities and operation.
Promoting direct sales of the newspaper with delivery service together with the discount price. Attracting more customers for pre-payment to increase the company cash flow for further implementation.
Introducing the coming online version and interactive advertisement for old and current advertiser and show them the coming trend and advantage for those advertising media and plan for coming development.
Launching a free copy version to increase the customer base and coordinate with advertiser to providing their product discount coupons to achieve win-win situation.
Increasing the content of the newspaper such as putting additional recruitment ads, Buy & sell, student special column etc to widen the reader base.
Distributing the newspaper oversea with localize news and report which seek for a way to develop oversea market.
Contact those colleges and university to promoting student version newspaper with supreme discount price with delivery service to increase the reader base and build up the future loyalty.
Long-term plan which react for two to five years:
Review all the department staff job nature and review their education background and working experience to evaluate their job performance and provide necessary opportunity to increase his/her productivities.
Aim to cut down the operating expense by 10% to 30% gradually.
Re-structure the organization and management team to work more efficiency and know how to work smart in all level of staff.
Increase more customer base through different media like the online version and distribute version. Also trying to sell the newspaper for oversea customer.
Special free newspaper distribute in crowd business area like Metro, Headline to attract customer/readers. Advertisement revenue may increase in such distributing channel.
Enhancing the online version of Chronicle Gazette with fully graphic base and containing real time video news report. Online translated version can be enjoyed by different country people. Vocal version can be implementing for blind people and showing how we approach to take the social responsibility.
Attracting different advertising agent and provide them for continuously advertisement placement with discounted price.
New report topic and keep expanding into state-wide and foresee the trend to entry to worldwide market instead of regional newspaper.
Employing some young people for form a young group for innovation, brave topic publishing. Closely work with the young people trend in order to think and make creation for sharing with readers.
Both short term and long term strategies need to implement together which can help Chronicle Gazette to gain back to lose portion of revenues and develop many other income source. I.T. affect not only in the newspaper industries and it affect the entire world already. Currently we stay with information age which most information can be found easily through internet so we must provide reader a correct way and attitude to analysis that information and to recognize the validity.
Chronicle Gazette revenue downturn due to the losses of the advertising income. Advertiser switching their advertise media from the traditional newspaper to other broadcasting and Internet. In order to capture the lose market share, Information technology required to implement for online version of newspaper and capture back the advertiser to use or service and wide distribution channel.
Both short term and long term strategies plan are helpful to make Chronicle Gazette survive and even getting better than before. Keep an eye for the market trend and innovation is the key point to make the business success. To broaden sources of income and reduce expenditure are already true to make the business more successful.
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