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October 27, 2005

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Your Daily Adspaper?

Am I reading this article correctly? Did WaPo editor Len Downie actually suggest that the biggest reason the Post’s daily news coverage couldn’t be cut by a third is that there wouldn’t be enough stuff to put ads on? Read for yourself and get back to me.

The relevant sentence: “He (Downie) says (business editor Steven) Pearlstein ‘hasn’t really thought through carefully’ the impact of a one-third reduction, which would leave less room for advertising.”

Posted October 27, 2005 at 11:34 | Comments (2) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Journalism


Readers don't want more, more, more -- that we know for sure.

Yet genuine news reporting, especially the way the Post does it, is an expensive habit to support. Assuming that you want/need the money advertising brings, it's tough to limit the number of ads sold. But if you take all the ads you can sell and don't increase news content, the ratio obviously grows out of control.

One very smart newspaper designer (oh okay, it's Monica) has been known to suggest that -- in recognition of the reader interests we're discussing here -- newspapers purposefully limit the amount of advertising they accept, but sell the (now limited) space at a premium, perhaps even by auction.

If there was only one full page ad available, would Macys and Verizon bid it up to get it? Intriguing question ...

An auction, I love it! Very... Googly.

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