Friday, May 9, 2008

By the numbers

Two things from LAObserved today.

The first is an piece on Lee Abrams, Senior VP and Chief Innovations Officer for the Tribune Co.

Abrams is quoted saying that "the way for local newspapers to survive is to completely, totally and passionately tap into the soul of a city," and "It’s all about accepting what a newspapers "natural" audience is."

What that means, as many other business experts have already suggested, is newspapers must provide relevant local coverage, and take advantage of newspapers' natural advantages.

Of course, not everyone agrees with that. Some newspaper chains have gone in the opposite direction, instead opting for a broader, more generic focus to their content.

Which brings us to the second item of the day: The 2008 Scarborough Newspaper Audience Ratings Report.

The news is disturbing. The reader audience for the entire Los Angeles Newspaper Group chain in 2008 was 2,891,000 people - just over half of the audience of the single-edition Los Angeles Times, and not quite double that of the Orange County Register.

Why are those numbers so worrisome? Because if you look at the 2007 numbers, LANG had well over 3 million readers last year, a 7% drop in reader circulation. Contrast that with the circulation decline at the LAT and OCR, who lost 1% and 3% respectively, and you realize that there's something else behind LANG's declining condition beyond the fickle whims of California readers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Press-Enterprise actually saw a gain in readership. So did The Californian.