Every day brings further raised eyebrows in our office, and I'm sure in many others across media-land.
A quick summary of media news in the last 48 hours:
CondeNet - slashing jobs across the board to deal with the slackening of digital revenue growth.
Johnston Press - 15% decline in ad revenues for the first 10 months of 2008, with 50% fall in property advertising.
DMGT - cutting 300 of what were previously the safest jobs in newspapers.
Time Out - cutting 8% of staff (OK, this is only 13 people, but it's another indicator that all advertising revenue is shrinking).
Trinity Mirror - 20% decline in underlying group advertising revenues since June, and further cost cutting planned for 2009, also showing similar near 50% decline in property advertising.
The latest NRS figures are released tomorrow, which will provide further ammunition for many newspaper execs to load up the guns and find a dark corner to sit in, as the figures will reflect the ongoing circulation decline for almost all titles and show readership levels falling in tandem (though slightly lagging) with circulation.
It's not going to be a happy Xmas in most of media-land I fear, but in times of darkness, plan for the return of the light. It's a cyclical business and always has been. Digital may have masked the traditional curve, but you can bet your last Government owned bank dollar that the good times will return at some point. Those businesses with the intelligence and balls to back investment now, and plan smartly for the future, will be best positioned to ride out the storm.
For the rest, take solace (either in quantum or smaller measures) that it could be worse, you could be an estate agent. Remember them? Annoying branded cars driven by idiots with scant respect for other road users. As I type, someone, somewhere, is probably setting up a memorial or fundraising concert in support of this former industry sector.....
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