David Greenberg

Stock Price of Print – Record Lows

I’m not a stockbroker on Wall Street, but I don’t have to be to know that newspapers are bleeding out. Journalists across the country are getting let go and fired, not because they suck at their job, but because no one cares anymore.

Don’t take that the wrong way, I feel terrible for the people that are losing their jobs, for their families and everyone affected by these layoffs.

This is a business and at one point it was booming. The newspaper industry could do no wrong for DECADES. Now, it’s in a nosedive, off the grand canyon, in slow-motion, with its arms flailing, heading for rock surface, 6,000 feet below, with no ginormous net to catch its fall.

When I read an article published by the Columbia Journalism Review, talking about the current status of the Gazette, I couldn’t help but be completely and utterly shocked by certain things I read.

The article, published back in 2017, talked about the stock price of the Gazette back in 2016, just one year prior to the story being published, and placed its value at $17.50 per one share of publically traded stock. One year later, in 2017 at the time of the article being published, it had fallen 50% to somewhere between 8 and 9 dollars.

When I read that I was thoroughly shook. I could not believe that a company like the Gazette, with such tremendous upside and potential, had taken such a traumatic hit.

Don’t blame yourself. You couldn’t have seen it coming. This is on the big dogs. This one is on the large newspaper companies for becoming complacent with where they were at fiscally and did not do enough to adapt with the times.

The article published by the Columbia Journalism Review talked about the old method of making money through advertisements, and where it currently stands.

They talk about back in the day the marketing strategy was “dollar-for-dollar,” where nowadays it is deeply tied with digital advertising revenue. That is up 7% since 2016 but is not enough increase to offset the money that the Gazette is oozing out.

It is clear that the “big dogs” as I mentioned earlier, are changing up their advertising strategies.

Last night was the Super Bowl. A national holiday for most, a time for non-sports fans to join in with the world and view some of the best that advertising has to offer, as well as a somewhat decent 15-minute performance of Adam Levine singing songs that date back to 2012 and if we are all lucky he’ll take his shirt off.

I don’t know if you noticed in between eating your finest American cuisines and watching arguably the worst Super Bowl game of all time, a couple of commercials by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

I like to think I have a good memory, but in my lifetime I can not remember a time when the Times or Post felt it was necessary to advertise during the biggest sporting event in the world. To me, this has to beg the question, “why now?”

The world of journalism as we know it is at an all-time low. It is filled with political bias, fake news, and lots of distrust for the organization as a whole.

There is a method to save it. At the moment no one knows what it is, but there will be a solution to this massive problem on our hands. I can’t say when or how but this is too big of an issue for someone to devise a plan, a method, to figure it out.

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