Those are the words of newspaper executive and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger. His comments were made the same week McClatchy, the second largest newspaper company in the United States, filed for bankruptcy.
Between 2006 and 2018, McClatchy’s advertising revenue fell by 80 percent and daily print circulation fell by 58.6 percent. The company has been family owned for 163 years. It has 30 newsrooms in 14 states.
We live in a world where consumers get their news instantly on their smartphones. The high cost of printing newspapers and the expectation from hose consumers that news should be free has rocked an industry that was so dominant for so long. In published reports this week Munger said “Technological change is destroying the daily newspapers in America. The revenue goes away and the expenses remain and they’re all dying.” Although he did say The Wall Street Journal and New York Times would most likely survive.
With TV fragmenting, the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other subscription services surging, and the slow death of the newspaper industry, it certainly serves as an important lesson for the radio industry, as it turns 100 years old this year, that anything can happen.
What is your company doing to stand out with consumers and bring customers through the doors of advertisers on a consistent basis?