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April 29, 2014


Not Comics: Print Ad Revenues Fall To 1950 Levels

This is shocking: print ad revenues have fallen to 1950 levels -- a time when the size of the economy and the size of the country were wholly different and much more flattering to that dollar amount. I'm sure there's a different way to read these figures that I can't quite see, but this sure seems like another dollop of lousy news for an industry that's been choking down the lousy news for years now. It's increasingly looking like the recovery claimed for newspapers is instead a little bit of a bounce for certain on-line models, the appearance of a few new publications that seem to work -- at least for now -- and the fact that the still ongoing decline isn't quite the terrifying plunge from a few years back and thus looks less apocalyptic in comparison. As the article author notes, I don't know that there's any real solution, although my hunch is that you could build an industry around that revenue point and it's the adjustment that's causing a lot of the friction and difficulty rather than this being a doomed enterprise simply marking time as the ship disintegrates around them. If that's the case, then newspapers still cutting to the bone as the article reports seems like a perfectly reasonable thing rather than a springboard to further despair.

The sharp decline of newspapers certainly has an effect on comics: some of the few remaining editorial cartooning positions are likely to be cut or retired as their current talents die out or take a deal or move onto something else; you're also likely to see a continuation of conservative launch tactics from comic strip syndication companies. One hopes for the rare hire or two of a staff cartoonist in a proactive fashion, and that someone may find a new model for a new newsroom.
 
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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