It was pretty much all tricks and no treats for media companies this Halloween.
Washington Post Co. reported quarterly revenue down by ten percent to $1 billion and net income down to $10.3 million from $72.5 million in 2007. The most revealing stat is that its print advertising revenue was down 14 percent, while its online avenue grew by 13 percent. And thus the trend we often note here continues, if anything at an accelerating pace.
Meanwhile, the magazine industry is officially suffering these days. Conde Nast made deep staff cuts at two magazines, Men's Vogue (which will essentially fold back into Vogue); and Portfolio, where it scaling back the business magazine's print version from monthly to 10 times a year. More surprisingly, Conde Nast apparently is eliminating most of Portfolio's web staff and content -- which I would have considered the most promising part of the opertion over the long term.
Meanwhile, former Conde Nast star editor Tina Brown was quoted in what perhaps was one of the last online Portfolio interviews as saying she would "...hate to have to be in the magazine world right now...It's a
really tough time to be a magazine editor, trying to compete, in a
sense with that pace and that exhilaration and the multimedia nature
[of the web]." She also stated: "In my month's experience editing The Daily Beast, [ a new web magazine] I am so excited by
it, so enthralled by it, so kind of invigorated by it that it does make
me realize the great opportunities of this digital world..."