Apr 28, 2009

Circulation down in the IE

Daily newspapers covering the Inland Empire saw significant declines in circulation over the last six months, according to the latest ABC survey. The Riverside Press-Enterprise dropped 14.6 percent, putting the Monday through Friday circulation at 140,079 and the Sunday circulation at 147,339.

The P-E, which has suffered several rounds of layoffs in recent weeks, touted a 5-percent gain in its "total audience" share, which includes online readers.

The Press-Enterprise also reported drops in circulation for its main competitors, but did not include any online-audience numbers in the story. From the P-E:

The San Bernardino Sun, owned by Media News Group, saw circulation decline 8 percent to 49,952 Monday through Friday and 3.4 percent to 55,746 on Sunday.

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the Media News paper in Ontario, dropped 9.1 percent to 48,954 weekdays and 10.8 percent to 52,616 on Sunday.

Redlands Daily Facts, also owned by Media News, dropped 2.5 percent to 6,916 weekdays and 2 percent to 7,012 Sundays.

I haven't seen numbers for the rest of LANG yet.

The average drop in print circulation nationwide was 7.1 percent.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

way to go dean...you exceeded the average. can't wait to see lang.

Anonymous said...

I am sure the award winning Daily News, you know, the big city newspaper, should be growing circulation. A crack new editor, brilliant publisher, new ad guy, those numbers should be through the roof. I bet their ex circ guy is laughing loudly about now!

Customer Service said...

Curious to actual paid home delivery and paid single-copy sales numbers, the inside actual draw and delivered numbers, less bulk sales, bonus days, subs carried despite bad debt, any remaining hotels or NIE or other allowance, for any newspaper, PE/LAT/LANG/Ventura/San Diego etc compared to ABC accepted figures.

Anonymous said...

The Daily News is the only LANG paper that is committed to journalistic quality. It's the only paper in the group that aggressively holds politicians accountable, publishes lengthy and insightful series, and has any clout statewide.

Reporters for the pissant dailies elsewhere in LANG are jealous.

They need to button up their lips and recognize that having a prestigious flagship boosts the reputation of the entire group.

Anonymous said...

The Daily News is the only LANG paper that is committed to journalistic quality. It's the only paper in the group that aggressively holds politicians accountable, publishes lengthy and insightful series, and has any clout statewide.

Reporters for the pissant dailies elsewhere in LANG are jealous.

They need to button up their lips and recognize that having a prestigious flagship boosts the reputation of the entire group.
Do you really work at the DN, or are you just trying to stir up trouble and keep the employees mad at each other so they're too busy to make trouble for management?

I suspect the latter.

Anonymous said...

Now that is really funny poster at 1:32.

Flagship? PLEEEEEEEEEASSSSSSSE.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again ...

Ima Mean Snarkster said...

The poster above a ways is a devious trolling trollster, lookin' to stir up trouble among nice folks. And what does pissant mean anyway? Is that like pissant but please put the seat up before and after your done?

Anonymous said...

Why do newspapers constantly report their own bad news?Does CNN or NBC go on to the six o'clock news reporting on their low ratings?

Does KROQ or KLOS ramble daily about their plummeting numbers?

uh, no.

editors - STOP IT ALREADY

Anonymous said...

like milking a dead cow boys and girls.

Anonymous said...

1:32

I work at the Daily News. You're not one of us. Go kill yourself.

Anonymous said...

a whack job no doubt, but, please cause no harm to yourself. you are very funny in a sad kind of way.

Anonymous said...

right on 1:32. that is sooo the truth. the drivel that these little papers run is embarrassing and the writing not even the calibur.

Anonymous said...

After an unofficial poll it looks like the flagship daily news has garnered two wow votes for brilliant writing, being a watchdog, and the envy of other lang newspapers.

Look, you are comparing a minor league newspaper with grade school newspapers. I would hope you could come out on top...congratulations.

BTW, what makes you think everyone who reads and blogs here is a journalist, a current or past employee, or has a grudge with you?

Maybe, just maybe, we like the banter and like to express our opinions whether you like them or not.

Anonymous said...

Ain't free speech wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Circulation declines which is the original post morphs to a battle between the two titans of journalism, the Daily News and San Gabriel Tribune. I am riveted and can't wait to see how it ends. Sadly, I am afraid, badly for both.

Anonymous said...

this guy is obsessed.

Anonymous said...

I work for a non-Lang newspaper in a non-journalism position. I think this blog is great for lots of reasons. My paper is struggling just as bad as Lang. But I have a sincere question. To me, journalists from Lang seem to be extremely bitter and immature in their view of Lang. They seem oblivious to the fact that all papers are in trouble. Am I right? Is there something I'm missing?

Anonymous said...

Hi 7:35. No, you're right. We LANGers are extremely bitter and immature.

It comes from being treated like idiot children instead of adult professionals, not from the state of the news industry.

As for the sniping about the Daily News and SGV papers, that's just some folks trying to stir up trouble for their own weird excitement.

Anonymous said...

I would also add that reporters at Singleton papers would be acting bitter and immature even if we weren't facing imminent professional death because of the economy, the Internet, newspaper executives' poor choices. If this blog had been around eight years ago, you'd probably see the same kinds of things in the comments from MediaNews employees.

Working for this company is soul-killing, but many of us have a deep love for journalism and that (just barely) keeps us going. Now you see that steam running out as none of us know what "journalism" will be in the future, or where our meager paychecks will come from.

Anonymous said...

Employees are not oblivious to the state of the industry. Working for LANG they are better informed than most.

As another blogger pointed out, treated like idiot children, add to that, being lied to, piss poor management, lack of focus on a plan, and whatever quality was once there, leaving fast.

The headwinds that LANG faces are not just economically driven.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 7:35 AM ... you are , like, totally way wrong. Maybe other newspapers have problems, I don't know about that. But LANG newspapers wold be making tons of dollars if the management would not lay us off and instead plow back huge profit windfalls into bigger sections and stuff and sell more ads and stuff. And, for your beeswax, not that it is, there's like two or three so-called manager who are repsonsible for EVERYTHING and if they were gone or different or something, none of this would have happened and things would be good, or at least more good than today. And, like, we don't like outsiders calling us immature because we're MORE MATURE THAN YOU ANYDAY.

Anonymous said...

The pissant staff at The Sun got a good laugh from the phrase "prestigious flagship."

I respect the staff at the Daily News. We're all working hard with few resources in a lousy economy.

But 1:32 can drink a piping hot mug of shut the hell up.

Good day.

Anonymous said...

hey hamilton and lambert, thought you were the prestigious flagship publisher and general manager. does this mean you aren't? guess you aren't in the red enough to be called flagship yet. however, give it a little time.

Anonymous said...

If the DN is so great, why are all the copy editors working out of the SG Valley Tribune office?

nyet said...

If the DN is so great, why are all the copy editors working out of the SG Valley Tribune office?

For the same reason they moved the Press-Telegram folks to Torrance:

- It weakens one of their few remaining union newsrooms. Dean has a decades-old vendetta against unions for thwarting some of his earlier get rich quick schemes.

- It frees them up to implement whatever nasty plans they want to do to those employees. The PT never had furloughs, and their contract protects them from layoffs. The DN is in negotiations now, but whenever Dean wants to hit them, he has to talk it out first. At West Covina he doesn't have to do anything but send out a memo letting them know what the latest asskicking is.

Anonymous said...

to 4:20, to consolidate and San Gabe had the most space out of all. they used to have the printing presses there so they have the extra room.

Anonymous said...

Hey fellow LANGers. When you finally see the circulation results for the Daily News - don't be duped. They will report less of a year over year loss than other LANG papers - ONLY BECAUSE ABC CAUGHT THEM CHEATING AND ALREADY LOWERED THEIR NUMBER. That's right. They had more than 6% of their Sunday circulation from last year removed by an ABC audit, so the 7% they lost this year should be added to the 6% they already lost meaning they are down 13%. By far worst in LANG. Flagship my butt!

Newshound said...

9:11, you are so right. Working for someone like Singleton or many of the other people who now own newspapers is truly soul-killing.

Dean and the people he has running things only care about the money, and I doubt you will find one person in any of the newsrooms who went into journalism because it was a big-pay job.

Most of the reporters, editors and photogs at these papers would have been happy just to be left alone to cover the news. They probably would even have been OK without raises.

But these soul-killing bean-counters -- the sons and grandsons of Ronald Reagan and Gordon Gekko -- are destroying the business.

Sure, maybe newspapers will die anyway.

But they didn't have to commit suicide.

Dim the Droog said...

Gecko would be a better owner.

Anonymous said...

so called leaders in lang-where is your spine?

to the poster who thinks they are using the pressroom for space, you may be right, but, I doubt that they even have removed the presses yet which means there was a bunch of space. also a bunch of space because of layoffs etc.

i am still chuckling over the flagship comments-unreal.

Rebwoly said...

Cap'n Crunch had a flagship, too.

Newshound said...

Give them a break. San Gabe is probably the most centrally located of all their papers.

It's the easiest commute for copy editors.

Bialystock said...

Yes, but if LANG had a ship, like Cap'n Crunch did, it could bring the copy desk to the copy editors.
It could float around Long Beach Harbor, or Hansen Dam, or Whittier Narrows, wherever the readers were, and no one would have to commute anywhere. It's a good idea, and someone should float it with management. AQMD would like it too for getting solo drivers off the road. We need different thinking to save newspapers and do the right thing for the environment.

nota said...

Newshound:


That's only true if you assume that the consolidation was a clear necessity.

It's obvious that for most copy editors, the shortest commute was to their original newsroom. The drive from Woodland Hills or Torrance or Long Beach (heaven help the folks that live in Costa Mesa or Thousand Oaks) is a lot shorter than a drive to West Covina now.

There are more than a couple of people that took the buyout because the new commute was just too far.

The question then is why they did the consolidation in the first place, and why they didn't examine ways to improve newsroom efficiency without uprooting the individual copy desks.

Anonymous said...

The reason they didn't examine other ways to improve efficiency is the same reason they make blunder after blunder in all areas of their operatio. They aren't smart. They have moved some version of the copy desk from one newspaper to the other about a half dozen times in the last couple of years keeping those employees in a constant panic mode.

They moved the pressroom to Santa Clarita and now yet again to the Register, which should be fun, because they can't think two steps ahead.

They continue to implode because they live in fear and cause employees to do the same.

907 said...

The reason they didn't examine other ways to improve efficiency is the same reason they make blunder after blunder in all areas of their operatio. They aren't smart. They have moved some version of the copy desk from one newspaper to the other about a half dozen times in the last couple of years keeping those employees in a constant panic mode.

They moved the pressroom to Santa Clarita and now yet again to the Register, which should be fun, because they can't think two steps ahead.

They continue to implode because they live in fear and cause employees to do the same.


Call me crazy, but I'm not quite convinced this is all a matter of simple stupidity.

I'm starting to look at Dean and Co the same way I look at the Bush administration - they're only failures if you believe they were honest about what the goals were in the first place. Dean has made himself and his partners a LOT of money by raping and gutting these businesses, and he did it without risking his own money or leaving behind any assets that can be taken away by his creditors.

* On a side note, bankruptcy isn't going to happen to MediaNews anytime soon, if for no other reason than because his creditors will never let it get that far. There's nothing to seize and nothing to sell, so letting him file Chapter 11 means writing off all that debt. As long as he can pay anything, they have no choice but to hang on and take whatever he can give them.

When this is all over, multiple longstanding civic institutions will no longer be around and the entire industry will be drastically different - and while we're all reminiscing on how stupid Dean Singleton was, he'll be sitting back at the ranch counting his millions.

I don't think he's been stupid. I just don't think he ever gave a damn about keeping these papers viable. A terminal disease tends to shorten your long term goals a bit. Making as much money as he can, as fast as he can, might be a deep as the plan gets.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I think happened. I'm not part of MNews, so this is an outsider's view. Singleton began buying clusters of papers to primarily control advertising dollars in a region. Your rates would be much better if you control a region. He also figured he could lower operating costs by sharing services. A few years ago that made good sense because the ad dollars were there. But when those shrink you can't pay the debt. Now MNews may be inefficient and oppressive and whatever else, but the real problem is the dramatic shift in the market. And I am quite certain MNews will go chapter 11 soon, as well as many other chains. There's no way around it, there just isn't enough revenue to float the debt. What appeared to be a great strategy just a few years ago is now a death sentence.

Anonymous said...

The last two posters make excellent points and hard to argue with. What would creditors gain...not much.

I am not part of this crumbling empire either, but, knowing a number of people who are has tainted my view of the organization.

It appears that a void of leadership exists, employees are threatened that their job going away, and even senior managers are living with looming deadlines of, things better get better, fast, or else.

Well, there isn't much else left. The spirit and soul of some once proud newspapers has long flown away.

I bet the leaders of LANG are very proud.

Anonymous said...

"A few years ago that made good sense because the ad dollars were there."

MediaNews has never made sense. They've never run a successful paper using the strategy they're employing here. Every time they move in and slash staff and budgets, the paper ends up dead. And they started slashing in California over ten years ago, long before the big bad internet came along and stole their lunch money.

MediaNews had one successful paper I can think of: The Denver Post. Not surprisingly, that's also the one paper they actually invested some money into.

If there was any reason to believe that MediaNews' "stripped down news" program had ever produced results, I could understand thinking this was bad luck or a matter of circumstance. But the history is one long line of MediaNews buying newspapers and gutting them for a quick buck.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the misfits that have been hired to strip mine these newspapers and ruined a lot of talent along the way. I am sure they read these comments, so, boys and girls, look in the mirror. It isn't just the owner.

Anonymous said...

that's a very good point. even if medianews wanted to succeed, this bunch wouldn't know how.

of course, that also could mean hiring these clowns is the best proof of medianews' lack of commitment in the first place.

Anonymous said...

in trying to be fair, and it is tough here i admit, i cant think of a publisher/gen mgr/editor/ad exec/et al that would crack my first round draft choice board. At least based on the efforts over the past year or so. if i am overlooking a stellar performance, my apologies.

Anonymous said...

right but he hasn't closed any yet either.

Anonymous said...

No he hasn't. But, I would venture a guess that most are in much worse shape now than before he owned them. And, not just from the bad economy.

Anonymous said...

dollars to donuts he would love to be out of so cal

Anonymous said...

4/30/09 9:39 post.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. The papers used to be full of national and major account advertising. You think the Whittier Daily News was high on GM's list of newspapers? They paid a lot of bills back in the day.

Anonymous said...

4:22

you think that the fact they used to have lots of national ads means that cutting lots of staff is a winning strategy? circulation started dropping before the recession, and before the internet boom. so even though they might have started out making money, that was only because the side effects of medianew's grand strategy hadn't fully kicked in yet.

Anonymous said...

most newspapers use to be full of national advertising, major advertising, local retail advertising and classified advertising. now they are mostly full of crap.

i guarantee you the whittier daily news never made a call on detroit. perhaps they employed a rep firm as a lot of newspapers did, and there is part of the problem.

their destiny was controlled by others and it still is, the competition in online, cable, etc. there is no longer a sales infrastructure at most newspapers that you would want to go to war with. and now there isn't much left on the journalism side of the house.

medianews used this slash and burn strategy better than most talking out of both sides of their mouth. feet on the street, cover local, etc rings a little hollow about now.

earlier deadlines for journalists, later delivery times for circulators, lack of sales talent, a sagging debt load and a terrible economy not to mention toughet, newer and better competition makes this an ugly battle. add to that the often mentioned empty suited leadership team.

and as the last poster said very well, medianews strategy hadn't kicked in yet...i am afraid it has now.

Anonymous said...

I read in Editor& Publisher that John Sturm, head of the NAA didn't see the advertising downturn coming even six months ago. Seems like Sturm and the folks at Singleton's newspapers have been drinking the same lemonade. The newspaper downturn has been going on for a minimum of two years and some would say much longer.

Yet, another reason newspapers are on a slope covered with ice with no hope of rescue.

What in the hell has NAA done for newspapers?

Maybe about as much as Singleton has!

Anonymous said...

If you have any management or leadership tips for lang, you might want to leave them here.
I am sure they would welcome helpful suggestions as they are reading the latest postings.

Anonymous said...

If you have any management or leadership tips for lang, you might want to leave them here.
I am sure they would welcome helpful suggestions as they are reading the latest postings.


I would, if I thought they were smart enough to understand, and competent enough to actually follow along.

Anonymous said...

Guess they are 0 for 2.

Anonymous said...

The thinking that went on prior to the dn new digs was nothing short of brilliant. lease a lot of space, layoff a bunch of employees, have a lot of space, layoff more and move others to west covina, continue to move employees to west covina until no one is left in woodland hills. Brilliant! I sure hope the landlord has deep pockets when they vacate the building.

Anonymous said...

We all know LANG execs are reading the blogs. The comments they leave are painfully obvious.

The nimrod trying to start a fight between West Covina and Woodland Hills for example.

Anonymous said...

lambert, is that you?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised at all if we found out he's been crapping all over the blogs trying to make himself look good.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Not Lambert said...

I don't think there's any question that Lambert either posts or has someone else post. Things have reached the point where no one still there would defend him.

Anonymous said...

no

Anonymous said...

I agree with this poster:
The Daily News is the only LANG paper that is committed to journalistic quality. It's the only paper in the group that aggressively holds politicians accountable, publishes lengthy and insightful series, and has any clout statewide.

Anonymous said...

so how are things going in W.C. with the consolidation?
sounds like a sausage factory.

Anonymous said...

Renew your medication. Saying the dn is the only paper that does their job in this group is nothing to brag about. all newspapers should do their job...it is one of their core missions isn't it?

The fact that you believe they are the only one left in langland that does is a slap to all the journalists who try to do their job in this mess of an organization.

Since Ron Kaye left I don't see much accountability going on in Woodland Hills. Granted, place is in the process of being gutted and as a poster mentioned a few days ago, losing seven figures each month.

The other papers did their job on a smaller scale and today they all suffer from the misfits who run them.

If you are saying that the dn is the best of the worst, ok.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought Redlands was the flagship. What a shock to think it was the Daily News all along.

Anonymous said...

No you silly twits, it's the Azusa Highlander. We run things around here!

San Gabriel Newspaper Group on top yet again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for setting the record straigt.

Anonymous said...

Who revived that money-maker...don't let the sponge heads at lang know it was well thought out and actually makes a buck.

Anonymous said...

"Who revived that money-maker...don't let the sponge heads at lang know it was well thought out and actually makes a buck."


Surely a genius! A titan among men! The likes of William Randolph Hearst wither and shrink beneath his boots! Truly, his wisdom goes beyond the pale. He should be recognized, lionized, idolized!

Who among you dares type the name of the smartest man in MediaNews' vast empire?

Anonymous said...

where is san gabe?

Anonymous said...

rumor has it that medianews will go belly up. so folks, why argue and bicker? we're all in this together. all for one, one for all.

Anonymous said...

the Daily News has always been the flagship. they moved production b/c it's much more expensive in woodland hills rent wise and cost of living. irwindale is much cheaper. so it was a smart move.

Anonymous said...

i am afraid you won't see a name listed here, man or woman, because there is not a smart leaderleft in the empire. all the smart ones left a long time ago.

had the little genius paid attention to revenue instead of expense cuts, would not have happened. it always was a lot cheaper so why wasn't it moved years ago. shouldn't you make solid financial decisions in good times or pad?

and please stop with the flagship. it is like calling the disneyland autopia indy 500 race cars.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the above typos, the drive from the flagship to cheaper digs has left me sleep deprived.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Boy, that is mean, even though probably true. Although to pick Lambert means he would need to have had an idea, a good or bad idea. I am afraid, that miracle is yet to pass.

Although, there are other talentless executives that clearly give him a run for the money.

I never thought San Gabriel would be the hub of journalism in the medianews vast, however, shrinking empire in so cal.

ok, ok, the flagship is still the daily news!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.