In response to slumping ad revenues, USA Today announced plans that it will force its staff to take 1 unpaid week off.
USA Today is one of the nation’s leading newspapers. It is owned by Gannett. The paper’s employees must take a one-week furlough between Feb. 28 and July 3.
Last year, USA Today’s ad revenue dropped $1.2 billion, or 28 percent.
I’m not at all surprised to hear this. Newspapers across the board face ad revenue drops. They responded by making jobs cuts, pay cuts etc. The newspaper industry is still profitable. We just don’t see 30 percent profit margins like we did decades ago. Now we see maybe 5 percent profit margins.
Journalism as we know it is transforming. Americans simply do not read paper newspapers/media as prolifically as they did decades ago.
I only read the print version of The New York Times because my tuition pays for it. I can get American point of view news for free on the internet. I am however, subscribed to The Economist.
I have trouble finding Americans in the 18-25 age group that even read newspapers. (Not counting those forced to for academic reasons/journalism majors/variants) I think this personal observation is a reflection of a general disinterest among my peers in print news. I suspect, years from now, print newspapers will be either be obsolete or dramatically different from what they are today.