Gannett profits up: So expect more editorial cuts

Don't Miss the last para, eh...!

Looking behind Gannett's 54% profits leap
The financial markets reacted with glee when the US newspaper publisher Gannett reported first quarter profits
up 54% on a year ago. But, argues Philip Stone, it will not lead to improved investment in papers. Just the reverse. More cuts can be expected.
Roy Greenslade/Guardian

In fact, Gannett's improved profitability came from its TV division due to improved advertising revenue. The newsprint figures were dismal: ad revenue down 8.5%, circulation revenue down 5.1% with daily circulation off 9% and Sunday down 5%. Even digital revenue fell 1.8%. Stone comments: "None of those numbers are likely to persuade the Gannett executive suite to encourage their local publishers to spend more on editorial."
Gannett, the owner of the British chain Newsquest, may well invest in sales and marketing in order to bring advertisers back, but there won't be any editorial investment. "Don't look for more feet-on-the-ground reporters covering local beats", says Stone. "That is the financial reality of the new newspaper world we live in."

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