A Perspective: The Myth of the 'Owned' Newspaper Reader

Traditional publishers and broadcasters aren’t the only faction whose perspective creates an illusion. Today at Corante’s Symposium on Social Architecture, I’ve heard speakers state as fact that ‘newspaper publishers think they own their readers.‘. I’ve been working in the newspaper industry since 1978. My family has been publishing a daily newspaper in New England since 1877. I’ve known dozens, maybe hundreds, of newspaper publishers. I’ve never met or heard of one who thinks he owns his readers. Sure, most, if not all, hold an attitude that ‘we the newspaper staff write it and they the consumers read it‘, so the […]

A Perspective: The Myth of Audience Fragmentation

‘Our audience is fragmenting!’ I hear that again and again from traditional publishers and broadcasters. They lament their ‘fragmenting’ readership, listenership, or viewership. But it’s untrue, merely a figment of their traditional perspective. Viewership, readership, and listenership, have always been fragmented. Each individual listener, viewer, or reader is, and has always been, a unique mix of generic interests and specific interests. Although many of these individuals might share some generic interests, such as the weather, most, if not all of them, each have very different specific interests. And each individual is a truly unique mix of generic and specific interests. […]

Knight Ridder's Largest Shareholder Wants Out

You can manage decline only so far before your company crumbles. Case in point: Knight-Ridder, Inc, the second largest newspaper chain in the U.S. Is Knight Ridder crumbling? Look how the crumbs are starting to fall. The crumb was today’s announcement by Private Capital Management, Knight Ridder’s the largest institutional shareholder, urging the newspaper company’s board of directors to put the company up for sale. In other words, Private Capital Management, which owns nearly 19 percent of Knight Ridder, wants out. Private Capital Management said a sale should be pursued, “in light of limited revenue growth across the newspaper industry […]