Dec 10, 2008

30%?

In his latest article on the Southeast Texas Political Review, Philip R. Klein continues his attack on the Beaumont Enterprise.  Today, he's whining about the 30 percent increase in the annual subscription rate:

So we made a few phone calls. And found out that not only had the Enterprise gone up 30% to it's readers - but ad buyers have seen around the same increase in the purchasing of ads. Yes....almost 30%.

We called a friend at the Enterprise and got a funny reaction.

"No you did not. You did not see a 30% increase in the cost to you," said the source.

And then......"well we increase subscriptions because we are losing money. And we cannot stay afloat if we lose money," said the source.

Does anyone really believe an employee of the Beaumont Enterprise said this?  If this spurious conversation really happened, then I suspect Philip missed a great deal of other information. This is verified by Philip's biased and simplistic conclusion:

Call us a "Muckraker" or a "Gadfly" or whatever you want. But we are a customer.....and you and your paper do not represent our interests. You are a part of the downfall of Jefferson County and your editors have turned their backs to the corruption of Jefferson County and those who run it.

I call him a wingnut, but Philip is apparently not aware of the real trends in general business right now, due primarily to the economy. Every business sector is experiencing declining revenue coupled with escalating costs. As an example from the newspaper sector, the cost of newsprint has skyrocketed over the past year while print editions of all newspapers are declining. 

However, the biggest problem for the media is this:  when revenue goes down in business, the first cut is usually advertising budgets. Don't take my word for it, this is a quote from business analyst Catherine Fox-Simpson:

The recessionary climate has caused retailers to cut back in many ways, and advertising budgets are among the first items retailers consider when reducing spending.

For further proof, the average reader need look no further than yesterday's news, where the Tribune Company filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy suit.   Other well-known newspaper companies having problems include Gannett, Scripps, Copley, and McClatchy. In the TV industry, Viacom cut 7 percent of its work force loose last week, while NBC is laying off 500 employees. 

The biggest irony in Klein's article is this: he considers himself competitive with the local media! How funny!

Here's a question for Philip - if he truly represents the peoples' "interest" in Southeast Texas, then why does his weekly polls only have from 25 to 50 responses?  Readers should review (pun intended) this article on Philip's real numbers.

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