Friday, February 02, 2007

Gannett vs. Google

This is an entirely apt comparison because they're in the same business: selling advertising. Doubt me? Here's how Google describes its business, in its SEC documents: "We generate revenue primarily by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising." Gannett, which owns the Enquirer, gets 65% of its revenue from newspaper advertising.

Gannett was founded in 1906, and it is one big fucking company. In the U.S. it owns 90 daily newspapers (including the Enquirer), nearly 1,000 non-daily publications, and 23 TV stations. Plus it owns nearly 300 titles in the UK, including 17 daily newspapers. It has 52,000 employees.

Google was founded in 1998. At the end of 2005 it had less than 5,700 employees.

And Google is kicking Gannett's ass. Both companies put out fourth-quarter results this week. See Google's here, and Gannett's here.

Google had revenues of $3.21 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of 67% from last year. Gannett's fourth quarter revenues were $2.21 billion, an increase of 7% from last year.

Google saw a profit of $1.06 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of 176 percent from last year. Gannett's profit was $353 million, an increase of only 3%.

So, the biggest seller of newspaper advertising is getting blown away by the biggest seller of online advertising. Gannett's increase in revenue came from its TV stations, which sold lots of time for political advertising last year. That's not going to happen in 2007, so how much more is Gannett going to demand that its newspapers cut costs, so it can make Wall Street happy? Gannett can't hope to catch up in selling online advertising unless it makes big investments in its web sites; setting up more boring blogs won't do it. And there's no hope Gannett will invest more in the Enquirer anytime soon.

As of 2 p.m., the Enquirer didn't have anything on its web site about Gannett's earnings.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: What are we doing here and what can we do to make for better news coverage by the vehicle that SHOULD be head and shoulders above the rest--the local paper, here is Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

A challenge to all Enquirees: What would you have done to make these stories interesting, sought after and engaging to a reader like nothing else can? The second part of this should be how you imagine that Gannett and Enquirer management would/could have helped, inhibited, slow it down, hidden stuff or stopped you. The third part, how to best deliver the story.

These are headlines plucked right out of what is called news in the here and now:

1. Charles Scripps passing or another notable Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky figure such as a fallen police officer, firefighter etc.
2. An amber alert.
3. An amber alert when a second miracle is found like the case in Missouri.
4. A soldier that made it back from a tour in Iraq.
5. A soldier that didn't.
6. How the homeless do survive.
7. How changing cell phone service from the "traditional" Bell or At&T works with pitfalls and successes.
8. What is Vista and what will it do for me?
9. What does Brittany Spears do that affects my daily life?
10. How would it change things if a female (such as Hillary Clinton) come to the presidency?

Here is a hint: If you write about how Gannett-dwebs stopped you first, you are a whinner (-1). If you write with your heart and tell a story in a way that people care about (+2). If you write about something so wisely that people are compelled to DO something (times 10).

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By this simple opinion, Google is kicking Gannett's ass for a few good reason.

First: Gannett deserves it for dismal people management practices.

Second: Attitude. Newspapers are no longer the only game. Get over the attitude newspapers!

Third: Newspapers are dusty, smelly and getting them requires that more trash needs to be hauled to the curb (blah!!!!!)

Google is better! AND anyone can get inserts at midnight online and the paper isn't going to be delivered until MAYBE 5 am. Then there is the whole Enquirer "we don't deliver to you" issue in Kentucky when the paper doesn't show up. See number 2: Attitude.

See, Enquirer, quit sending announcements of delivery or service when you can't/won't/don't provide. Northern Kentucky knows that there isn't a paper after our interests.

10:41 PM  

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