Category Archives: Newspapers

Newspaper concerns continue

The last several days have seen more and more headlines about the newspaper industry’s faltering health. Today, we have this:

Lee Enterprises warned by NYSE it may be delisted

Lee is the parent company of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, arguably the most influential newspaper in Missouri. NYSE issued the warning because the company’s share price has fallen below $1.00 and it’s market cap is less than the $25 million required to be listed on the exchange. Lee Enterprises owns 49 daily newspapers and purchased the Post-Dispatch from Pulitzer Inc. in 2005.

The company must tell NYSE within 10 days how it will meet listing standards within 6 months, and that will be a very interesting report. If the company continues to sputter, however, what will happen to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?

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Newspaper cutbacks continue

If you have ever lived in Columbia, Missouri there’s a good chance you’ve read the Columbia Missourian. It’s a local paper produced largely by student journalists at the University of Missouri, directed by professional journalists. It’s a step up from the campus newspaper The Maneater (of which I was once, very briefly, a humble correspondent) but a peg below Columbia’s paper of record, the Columbia Daily-Tribune.

Yesterday, the paper announced it was cutting back its weekly print editions from seven to five – gone will be the Monday edition and the weekend issue, published on Saturdays. It will also reduce the number of comic strips and syndicated columns, content the paper has to buy from outside sources. The newspaper put a positive spin on the announcement and later reporting on the story, but the central fact of the matter remains.

While many mainstream newspapers are struggling due to falling circulation numbers and the resulting drop in advertisement revenues, the Missourian appears to have been forced into the decision because of a grim state budget outlook. The newspaper has operated at a loss for more than a decade and relies on the state university for funding. The paper feared the university would not cover their operating losses this year, so they scaled back to cut costs.

Clearly, had the paper been in a stronger financial position the state budget would not have impacted them in such a way. Whatever the reason, yesterday’s announcement means that the newspaper industry’s decline continues to be felt in Missouri.

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