A story in today’s Wall Street Journal on the sudden and unexpected retirement of USA Today president and publisher Craig Moon had an interesting nugget about how the decline in travel has been impacting circulation at the flagship newspaper in the Gannett chain.
Moon told the Journal that USA Today has lost about 100,000 papers off its circulation total due to a reduction in the number of papers distributed through partnerships with national hotel chains. Those partnerships account for more than half of USA Today’s 2.3 million-paper circulation.
So in the end you’re talking roughly a 4 percent drop in circulation just from what you would normally consider automatic sales with the captive audience that you have in hotel settings.
We won’t know how else USA Today might have been impacted by the downturn until the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases updated circulation figures later this month,
And then there’s the expected 35 percent first-quarter ad-revenue dip for Gannett hanging in the balance as well.
Bottom line – Gannett is hemorrhaging money right now, and that has to have an impact on operations at the News Leader and decisions being made here about the workforce and printing operations.
– Story by Chris Graham