Denver PR Blog

Depressing Denver Newspaper Prediction of the Week
June 12, 2012, 8:46 am
Filed under: Newspapers

If the University of Southern California Annenberg School’s Center for the Digital Future is correct, Denver likely will not have a major daily newspaper in 2017. Instead, The Denver Post will be an online property with print editions only once or twice a week.

“…Sales figures do not lie; circulation of print newspapers continues to plummet, and the current generation of print newspaper readers is not being replaced. We believe that most major U.S. daily newspapers as we know them today as print editions will be gone in about five years; eventually the only print newspapers that will survive will be at the extremes of the medium – the largest and the smallest. We expect at least four major newspapers with global reach to continue to publish daily print editions: The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. At the other extreme, local weekly and twice-weekly newspapers may continue in print form, as well as the Sunday print editions of metropolitan newspapers that otherwise may exist only in online editions.”

Depressing Newspaper Graphic of the Day
February 29, 2012, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, Obit

Hat tip: @hblodget

Denver Post Ranks Eighth Among Newspaper Twitter Followers
October 20, 2010, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, Social Media, Twitter

Circulation numbers are still king, of course, but here is the ranking of U.S. newspapers according to their Twitter followers (Note: it only ranks the newspapers’ primary Twitter accounts).

The Denver Post ranks a very respectable eighth, although the follower numbers fall off a cliff after the top three.

  1. @nytimes – 2,668,948
  2. @wsj – 464,591
  3. @washingtonpost – 204,514
  4. @latimes – 83,335
  5. @usatoday – 72,929
  6. @newyorkpost – 57,605
  7. @chicagotribune - 34,490 *
  8. @denverpost – 32,755
  9. @dallas_news – 24,726
  10. @seattletimes – 22,286
  11. @suntimes – 18,952
  12. @freep – 18,851
  13. @nydailynew – 15,744
  14. @houstonchron – 14,108
  15. @azcentral – 10,407
  16. @oregonian – 10,338
  17. @phillyinquirer – 9,819
  18. @SFGate – 9,508
  19. @clevelanddotcom – 7,943
  20. @MN_News – 7,008
  21. @NJ_News – 6,181
  22. @SDUT – 5,886
  23. @tampabaycom – 3,168
  24. @insidebayarea – 2,810
  25. @cctimes – 2,705
  26. @mercurynews – 2,536
  27. @newsday – 2,302

Denver Post Circulation Decline Greater than National Average
April 26, 2010, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Newspapers

The bad news for newspapers continues. The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) reports that domestic weekday newspaper circulation fell 8.7 percent over the past six months. Meanwhile, here in Colorado, the Denver Post reported a 10.2 percent weekday circulation decline over a year ago, which now puts it as the nation’s 14th largest newspaper in terms of weekday circulation.

Denver Post Owner Declares Bankruptcy

Of course, that is not exactly how Aldo Svaldi’s Denver Post article this morning described it. Before running across the word “bankruptcy” for the first time in the third paragraph, it was described as a “pact,” “deal,” “new ownership structure,” “restructuring plan” and “agreement.” Clearly there is no need to buy Svaldi a thesaurus for his birthday this year.

Of the bankruptcy agreement, Media News chairman and chief executive William Dean Singleton said, “It gives us one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry.” Sadly, he may be right.

If you are interested, the Denver Business Journal also covered the Post’s bankruptcy agreement.

RIP, Editor & Publisher
December 10, 2009, 9:33 am
Filed under: Newspapers, Obit

“America’s oldest journal covering the newspaper industry” realizes the same fate of so many newspapers it covered.

WSJ Now Nation’s Largest Newspaper
October 14, 2009, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, USA Today, Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has passed USA Today as the most-subscribed newspaper in the U.S. Unfortunately, the WSJ nabbed the honor only after USA Today raised its newstand price 33 percent saw a resulting 17 percent decline in circulation.

Majority Leader Reid Having His Own ‘Jared Polis Moment’
August 30, 2009, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers, Politics

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis danced on the grave of the Rocky Mountain News, and now U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has thrown a shovel full of dirt at the Las Vegas Review-Journal hoping it sparks something. Here’s a free PR tip: Quit publicly rooting for something that would be devastating to the hundreds of your constituents who are LVRJ employees and the hundreds of thousands who are subscribers.

Newspaper Slump Deepens; Q2 Ad Sales Drop 29%
August 27, 2009, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Economic News, Newspapers

The Associated Press reports that “newspapers’ financial woes worsened in the second quarter as advertising sales shrank by 29 percent, leaving publishers with $2.8 billion less revenue than they had at the same time last year.” More troubling, industry analyst Ken Doctor says newspapers will be lucky to recover half of the losses they have sustained because much of the drop has been from a permanent advertising migration to the Internet rather than just recession-based losses.

Lament for a Dying Field: Photojournalism
August 9, 2009, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, photojournalism

With the decline of newspapers and magazines, photojournalists and their agencies are suffering like never before. At least those not covering celebrities.

What’s a Big City Without a Newspaper?
August 9, 2009, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

A former reporter from Philadelphia chronicles for the New York Times a return home to the place that could be the first without a daily newspaper.

It Worked for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
May 20, 2009, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Denver Nuggets, Newspapers

Denver’s second major daily could be the Los Angeles Times of Denver, if the Denver No Guts can beat the L.A. Lakers.

Colorado Springs Gazette Launches New A.D.D. Edition
April 23, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Newspapers

If you are one of those chumps who spends more than 10 minutes reading a newspaper, help is on the way.

Life After Newspapers
April 6, 2009, 3:46 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

Washington Post columnist Michael Kinsley lays out his vision.

And Another One Bites the Dust …
March 16, 2009, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers

Hearst announced today that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will morph from a print publication to online-only, starting tomorrow. But if you were looking for the online version to be as beefy as it has been, you’ll be disappointed. Hearst will staff the “new” PI at 20 people, down from 150 for the print version.

Fort Collins Paper May Outsource Printing to the DNA
March 11, 2009, 8:26 am
Filed under: Economic News, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

Rumors are that the Fort Collins Coloradoan has agreed to outsource its printing operations to the Denver Newspaper Agency, a move that helps the DNA fill the printing void left by the Rocky Mountain News and puts up to 50 Fort Collins jobs at risk.

10 Newspapers that Will Fold or Go Digital
March 10, 2009, 9:45 am
Filed under: Economic News, Layoffs, Newspapers

Fresh on the heels of the Rocky’s shutdown, Time Magazine offers its Top 10 List of Newspapers That Will Fold or Go Digital-Only (fortunately, the Denver Post is not one of them).

(Hat Tip: The Denver Egotist)

Will Hearst Shut the San Francisco Chronicle Down?
February 24, 2009, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers

The Heart-owned San Francisco Chronicle is the latest newspaper to be threatened with being sold or shutdown. Hearst has also threatened the Seattle Post-Intelligencer with the same fate.

CU-Denver Newspaper Cover Pits Student Body President Against Editor
February 19, 2009, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

The University of Colorado–Denver student newspaper’s choice for the cover of its annual “sex issue” has the university’s student body president demanding an apology. Fox (of course) has the details.

Scripps May Disclose its Plan for the Rocky on Q4 Earnings Call
February 18, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, Scripps

Late February is rapidly approaching, and still no word on the fate of the Rocky Mountain News. Your best next chance to hear any updates will be on Scripps’ Q4 2008 earnings call tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. MST. You can listen in by dialing 1-800-230-1074, but if you want to ask a question you will need to pretend to be someone such as Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times. If you miss the live call, you can listen to a replay starting at 9 a.m. MST at 1-800-475-6701.

Grand Junction Paper Drops to Three Days Per Week
February 10, 2009, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Economic News, Newspapers

The Denver dailies may get the lion’s share of attention, but the downwardly spiraling economics of publishing are affecting newspapers across the state. The latest is the Grand Junction Free Press, which announced it will convert from a daily paper to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday paper. The paper’s Web site will be updated daily, however.

(Hat tip to Michael Roberts at Westword)

Newspapers Turn to PR to Communicate Value
February 3, 2009, 9:55 am
Filed under: Economic News, Newspapers

What do you do when the world thinks your product is obsolete and that the world has passed you by? You launch a public relations campaign, of course. And that is exactly what the newspaper industry is doing with a series of commentaries and a new Web site. Will it work? Who knows? At the very least, it will give newspaper folks some experience in PR before they are forced to make the leap.

Guest Commentary: Closing the News is Bad PR for Denver
January 22, 2009, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

By Jon Pushkin, APR and Gina Seamans, APR

jonginaThe news about the News hit Denver’s PR community like a bombshell. Partly that’s because we spend a good deal of our time building relationships with members of the media. We get to know them as people and in many case we build friendships that go well beyond the newsroom.
So when the finality of the announcement that the News was on life support was delivered to employees matter-of-factly by the corporate decision makers in the Scripps company, we felt their pain as though it was our own.
We also had another eye-opening realization that was even more sobering. That is that newspapers and the journalists who work for them are disposable. It is one thing to make a business decision to sell or close a company that is not profitable. But in this case, the surprising thing is what the people making this decision failed to see: the value in the brand is worth more than the money they will save by closing the Rocky.
The equity in a 150-year-old brand like the Rocky Mountain News is priceless. Maybe you tweak the business model or make some significant changes, but you don’t just discard it. The intellectual capital represented by the talented journalists who work at the News is another valuable asset that the owners fail to appreciate. Rather than asking for options or even concessions, the owners are content to dispose of that asset as well.
A free and vibrant press is a core pillar of public relations. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Code of Ethics states that “protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society.” Healthy communities and democratic societies depend on the free flow of information to help the public make informed decisions about important issues. The troubling trend toward eliminating newspapers and treating journalists as expendable will have a serious long-term impact on the health of our communities.

Blogs and social media and word of mouth are important sources of information but they are no substitute for professional news organizations. They usually have a particular perspective and they generally do not cover stories in the same in-depth way that a reporter would. In many cases, the people who provide the news through those channels are not professional journalists. They are not Clark Kent or Lois Lane or Damon Runyon or Jimmy Breslin or Thomas Friedman. They are just people with opinions who like to express them in public forums with other people who share those same interests. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not news. Too often it is just noise.

PRSA Colorado believes that the loss of the News would be devastating to our city’s culture and reputation. We call on the decision makers at Scripps to exhaust every potential buyer and to consider other creative options before they close the paper. We offer our assistance to help them explore these options and research reasonable alternatives. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues at the News and encourage them to keep the faith.
Disposing of a priceless brand and a valuable asset is not good business. It is just bad PR.   
Jon Pushkin is president of Pushkin Public Relations and a past president of the Colorado chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Gina Seamans is a senior counselor at JohnstonWells and president of the Colorado chapter of PRSA.

Gannett: We’ll Kill This Paper to Save It … Um, Actually We’ll Just Kill It
January 20, 2009, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Economic News, Layoffs, Newspapers

Gannett Co., impressed with the bad-ass way Scripps and Hearst dealt with the Rocky and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is following suit with threats to close the Tucson Citizen if it does not find a buyer by March 21.

Pew: Web Passes Print as Primary News Source
January 12, 2009, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, TV News

Pew Research Center has released a new study that shows that the Internet has passed newspapers as a primary source of news. Both still lag television, however. Details of the study are here. Incidentally, my own survey has found that 100 percent of Pew executives think it is a waste of money to hire a graphic designer to make graphs look better than something you could create in Microsoft Excel.

Hearst Gives the Seattle P-I the ‘Rocky’ Treatment
January 10, 2009, 11:30 am
Filed under: Economic News, Layoffs, Newspapers

Seattle is feeling our pain. Hearst announced it will shut down – or at least move to an online only format – the Seattle Post-Intelligencer if a buyer cannot be found in the next 60 days.

Staffers Start Web Site ‘I Want My Rocky’
December 15, 2008, 8:42 am
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

In an effort to save the Rocky Mountain News, staffers have joined together to start the Web site I Want My Rocky, which encourages readers to write letters to the Scripps board, the DOJ, and Colorado’s Congressional delegation.

Is There a Chance Denver Could Become a Zero Newspaper Town?
December 12, 2008, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Economic News, MediaNews Group, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

A day after Moody’s downgraded MediaNews Group, citing its “substantial”risk of default, CEO Dean Singleton today asked unions representing the Denver Post and the Denver Newspaper Agency to “reopen their labor contracts immediately” in an effort to cut costs by $20 million. Jeff Smith at the Rocky Mountain News reported that Singleton would seek concessions of $2 million from the Post and $18 million from newspaper agency.

And that wasn’t the only bad news for MediaNews Group today. The Wall Street Journal reported that the MediaNews Group-owned Detroit News has joined the Gannett-owned Detroit Free Press in considering cutting home delivery of the papers to three days per week. The remaining four days would be available only via newsstands.

A Rocky Goodbye?
December 10, 2008, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Layoffs, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

Michael Roberts at Westword looks beyond all the posturing and spin and finds that the economy and Denver Post Publisher Dean Singleton are conspiring to kill the Rocky Mountain News.

Tribune Files for Bankruptcy; New York Times Mortgages its HQ
December 8, 2008, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Economic News, Newspapers

As expected, the Tribune Co. – owner of KWGN/Channel 2 – filed for bankruptcy. And the New York Times Co. announced it will borrow as much as $225 million – using its Manhattan flagship headquarters as collateral – to “to ease a potential cash flow squeeze as the company grapples with tighter credit and shrinking profits.”

Newspaper Roundup, Sponsored by Zoloft
December 7, 2008, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers

While we have all been distracted locally by the Rocky Mountain News’ situation, here’s what has been going on outside of Denver during the past week:

Again, that was the past week. In total, Ad Age estimates that the media industries “have shed more than 30,000 jobs in 2008. … That’s about 3.5% of the total media work force of 858,000. Since the bubble-inflated high-water mark in 2000, media has lost more than 200,000 jobs.” For those of us with journalism degrees and newspaper reporting/editing jobs on our resumes, the profound sadness we feel for the newspaper industry is almost indescribable.

WSJ Proposes Merger to Help ‘Financially Distressed’ MediaNews
December 7, 2008, 9:25 am
Filed under: Denver Post, Newspapers, Wall Street Journal

Before Dean Singleton engages in too much scheudenfraude about the Rocky’s plight, he might want to read this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, which notes that MediaNews Group is among several publishers that “are carrying heavy loads of debt given their fast-shrinking revenues.” The WSJ’s solution for MediaNews: a merger with fellow troubled publishers Freedom Communications and Lee Enterprises.

Experts: Rocky Buyer Unlikely
December 5, 2008, 8:24 am
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

Coverage of the news that the Rocky Mountain News will be sold or shut down is significant today. Among the angles:

Will the Post and News Join CNN’s Alternative to AP?
December 1, 2008, 9:31 am
Filed under: Associated Press, CNN, Denver Post, journalism, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

In October, the New York Times wrote about papers leaving the Associated Press because of its high price, and today the Times covers CNN’s attempt to cobble together an alternative to AP. Approximately 30 newspaper editors from across the country will visit Atlanta this week to hear the details, but there is no word on whether John Temple and Greg Moore will be two of them.

Reporters Increasingly Rely on Social Media Tools
November 24, 2008, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, Social Media

Nearly half of reporters are using social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and Wikipedia to research their stories. So are you using those tools to talk to (or at least influence) reporters?

Starz Film Festival to Screen ‘Stop the Presses’
November 17, 2008, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers, Westword

Kelly Pascal Gould of Pascal PR points us to Stop the Presses, a documentary about the troubled newspaper industry that will appear at the Starz Film Festival today at 4 p.m. Patty Calhoun at Westword has the details on its premier yesterday in the auditorium at the Denver Newspaper Agency, which, according to former Post columnist Al Lewis, was “like showing a horror film inside a graveyard.”

API Conference Finds Newspaper Industry in ‘Crisis’
November 16, 2008, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Economic News, Newspapers

An American Press Institute closed-door summit has concluded that the newspaper industry has reached “full-blown crisis” stage and will need outsiders to help it weather the storm. Editor & Publisher has the details.

Vail Trail Ends 46-Year Run
November 12, 2008, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Economic News, Layoffs, Newspapers

The Vail weekly newspaper Vail Trail has ceased publication after 46 years, a casualty of the economic downturn.

Newspaper Update, Sponsored by Zoloft
October 28, 2008, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

Where to begin?

  • The venerable Christian Science Monitor is moving nearly all of its news operation online to save money.
  • A coalition of Northeast newspapers and CNN are fighting to offer wire stories to papers that are unhappy with the Associated Press’ high price tag.
  • Gannett’s newspaper division will cut another 10 percent of its staff in a next round of layoffs.
  • Moody’s Investors Service may downgrade its stellar rating of the Post Co. 

If You Have Run out of Reporters to Pitch …
October 24, 2008, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

…the Denver Independent launches next week.

Interesting Journalism Stat of the Week
September 24, 2008, 9:25 am
Filed under: Newspapers

From PRNewser:

“Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin could buy every newspaper in America and still have $12 billion left over. The entire U.S. newspaper business is valued at $20 billion. Brin and Page are worth about $16 billion each.”

Typo of the Week
August 19, 2008, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

From the Associated Press:

“(U.S. Sen. John McCain’s) top (vice presidential) contenders are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent.”

Newspaper Update, Sponsored by Zoloft
August 14, 2008, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Gannett, Layoffs, Newspapers

Newspaper publisher (and KUSA/Channel 9 parent) Gannett is in the process of laying off 1,000 employees from its local newspapers across the country. Reuters has the details.

Grand Junction Sentinel Among Newspapers Cox Set to Unload
August 14, 2008, 7:56 am
Filed under: Newspapers

Time to check under the couch cushions for any spare change –- the Grand Junction Sentinel is for sale.

Scripps Announces $874M Write-off
August 12, 2008, 8:16 am
Filed under: Denver Post, Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News

Rocky Mountain News parent company E.W. Scripps Co. is taking a $874 million write-off “to account for the diminished value of its newspaper holdings. The write-off includes a $779 million noncash charge to reduce the value of goodwill and a $95 million reduction in the value of its investment in the Denver Newspaper Agency and Prairie Mountain Publishing.”

FBI Apologizes for ‘Improperly’ Obtaining Reporters’ Phone Records
August 9, 2008, 12:11 pm
Filed under: lawsuits, Newspapers

The FBI has apologized to The Washington Post and The New York Times for “improperly obtaining phone records” of their reporters while investigating terrorism four years ago.

How Well Do You Know the Newspaper Industry?
August 3, 2008, 6:55 am
Filed under: Newspapers

This handy-yet-simple test will let you find out.

Pew Newspaper Report Offers Hope
July 24, 2008, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

The Pew Research Center issued its report, “The Changing Newsroom: Gains and Losses in Today’s Papers,” on Monday, and it has taken us a few days to get to it. The report offers a number of interesting analyses of the often contradictory newspaper industry, including:

Despite an image of decline, more people today in more places read the content produced in the newsrooms of American daily newspapers than at any time in years. But revenues are tumbling. The editors expect the financial picture only to worsen, and they have little confidence that they know what their papers will look like in five years.

Newspapers are still drawing plenty of readers (in part by shifting their focus to local news that readers can’t get from national publications/Web sites), but until they devise a method to monetize their Web traffic, expect the consolidation and layoffs to continue.

Great Moments in Journalism VIII
July 23, 2008, 10:02 am
Filed under: Newspapers

A Vermont/New Hampshire newspaper misspelled its own name on its flag.

Another Denver Newspaper Downsizes
July 22, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Newspapers

The Denver Catholic Register announced it will reduce its annual number of issues from 50 to 44.


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