Going digital hurting newspapers: industry spokesman

Jan 07, 2014
A local newspaper is seen in a diner on July 13, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada

Going digital is what's hurting Canadian newspapers, not a lack of revenues or readers, which are both up, a publishing industry spokesman said Tuesday.

"Newspapers don't have an audience problem," John Hinds, president and chief executive of industry association Newspapers Canada, told the Vancouver Sun.

"There's a big fallacy out there. We have a revenue problem as we transition to cross-platform materials—how do we pay for those? Our audiences are bigger than ever and actually growing."

The comments come after Glacier Media this week announced the closure of the Kamloops Daily News after 80 years, citing insufficient cost-cutting.

Hinds noted that advertising revenues dipped along with the economy, but have rebounded.

According to NADbank, which measures circulation, half of Canadians read a printed newspaper every day.

And three-quarters read a printed newspaper at least once a week.

These figures remained steady while online news readership has grown in recent years.

Yet last year, four Canadian dailies switched to weekly publication and the free daily 24 Hours stopped publishing in Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary.

Canada's largest newspaper publisher, Sun Media, also eliminated more than 1,000 jobs at its newspapers nationwide as part of a restructuring to meet "unprecedented changes in the print media industry driven largely by the digital revolution," it said.

A union representing Sun workers accused the company of diverting healthy newspaper profits to its "laughably bad" start-up television network Sun TV.

"All the companies are struggling because the world has changed, consumers have changed, technology has changed, but you have readers," NADbank's president Anne Crassweller told the Sun.

"Isn't that the bottom line? The audience is there."

Explore further: Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NY Times gains in otherwise grim newspaper sector

Apr 30, 2013

The New York Times, boosted by gains in digital readers, rose to the number two spot among US daily newspapers in a sector still struggling with falling print circulation, industry figures showed Tuesday.

Tribune Co. to cut 700 newspaper jobs

Nov 20, 2013

US media giant Tribune Co. said Wednesday it would slash 700 jobs at its newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, to cope with the industry's slump.

US newspapers gain online, but print lags

Oct 31, 2012

US daily newspapers gained online readers over the past six months, but not enough to make up for declining print circulation, industry data showed Tuesday.

New Orleans newspaper to end daily publication

May 24, 2012

The Times-Picayune, the largest newspaper in New Orleans, said Thursday it would end daily print publication, moving to a schedule of three issues per week, to adapt to "an increasingly digital age."

Recommended for you

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

22 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

22 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.