Print Advertising

A recent interview that ran in Forbes Magazine with the outgoing editor of USAToday, Ken Paulson, provided some interesting insight into the world of print journalism and print advertising. According to Paulson,

I don’t think print advertising will ever return to the same levels it was before the Wall Street crisis. But it’s easy to confuse the state of the industry with the state of the economy. The newspaper business is in better shape than it looks. There is a generation of newspaper readers who will stay with us for the rest of their lives. They will also be willing to pay a higher single copy price.

Paulson is also quoted as saying USAToday is the most consistent newspaper on the planet.

It’s just important not to risk alienating readers who will read you until their dying day. USA Today has not eliminated stocks or television listings. These are defining elements of the American newspaper. … We don’t mess with what works.

When asked how well newspapers are mining the Web for income, Paulson responded with this answer:

The assumption has always been that if you ramp up online revenue quickly enough, it would offset losses in print. That appears not to be happening. But there are other ways of building revenue. USA Today publishes travel and personal finance books. There are USA Today-branded reading glasses. All these ventures are profitable. Journalism works; there is nothing wrong with the product. There is just a disconnect between what we deliver and what people are willing to pay for that delivery. That’s bad for newspapers, but it’s a little early to write an obituary. Home Depot is in the midst of massive layoffs, but nobody’s writing off hammers.