Pew Newspaper Report Offers Hope

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.

Pressure Mounts on Post, News. Acquisition Likely?

The Denver Post’s and Rocky Mountain News’ latest earnings report isn’t going to quell rumors that one of them will acquire the other and convert it to an online-only offering soon. The papers saw their Q2 earnings drop 78 percent –- from $6 million to $1.3 million — in Q2 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. A “slumping advertising market” is to blame, according to the Denver Business Journal, which also calculated that the two papers lost money during the quarter.