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Gannett Blog: Courier-Journal to charge for TV section as ad revenue drops

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Gannett Blog, moderated by former Courier-Journal reporter Jim Hopkins, is reporting our local newspaper now is charging for an expanded TV listings section.

Courier-Journal ran a full-page house ad Sunday, signed by (Publisher) Arnie Garson and (Executive Editor) Bennie Ivory, announcing a new expanded TV listing section and, oh by the way, the death of the old, free TV section.

If you want the new one, it’s an extra 25 cents per week.

The rationale behind it is that the old, free one is so bad it is no longer worth a crap and hence not worth publishing. The new one, on the other hand, will be much better and hence worth charging extra for. Extending this line of reasoning, one can expect to see a policy of charging for the Friday features section, which now incorporates elements of the old, free Saturday scene section and the defunct free Velocity weekly tab, neither one of which was really worth much. Or perhaps a new, improved, value and fee-added sports section, to replace the current section, which has less local stuff and more USA Today content all the time. Are we on a slippery slope to a la carte newspapers??

Gannett Blog is requesting reader comment about the changes.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting declining advertising revenue at the major newspaper chains including Gannett.

Media & Marketing section blogger Russell Adams writes:

Newspaper companies are resetting their advertising expectations after a discouraging first half of the year, a shift that could spur a return to more of the job cuts and other belt-tightening moves that spread through the industry in 2008 and 2009.

The WSJ keeps minting money for Rupert Murdoch. But Gannett, which owns the CJ, reported 2Q ad revenue down 6.5 percent following a 7.3-percent drop for the first quarter of this year.

Adams writes the worst-hit of all is the company which owns the Washington Post, where 2Q net income dropped 12 percent!

They’re really going to have to raise the price on their TV section.

And what is a “TV,” anyway?

Is that like iPad?

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