Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last Time I Checked, We Were Not Dead

In today's mail, this cc from the always alert SCBA

To: Dan Neil, Los Angeles Times

In your column of March 24, 2009, you look at the forces causing the rapid demise of major newspapers, including the double-digit losses in circulation and print advertising revenue hitting virtually every newspaper across the country.

And you wonder out loud if new technologies like the Rubicon Project, which focuses on online ad optimization, can be used to save the LA Times.

Overall the article was interesting and factual. That is, until you quoted Mr. Addante, co-founder and CEO of the Rubicon Project, who said --

"I don't want newspapers to die like radio."

By presenting Mr. Allantes' inaccurate statement as fact, you have left the reader with the impression that Radio is dead.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Radio is not only alive, it’s growing.

Today, more people are listening to radio in Los Angeles than ever before. 96% of Los Angeles residents (11.5 million* people 6+) listen to radio every week.

Our online listenership continues to increase every week, with advertising comfortably in place. And no Radio station in Los Angeles has declared bankruptcy or shut down operations because of a lack of interest or usage by the people of Los Angeles.

I've attached a chart (above, to enlarge it click on it) that tracks the 21% drop in readership for the LA Times since 2003 vs the 5.4% increase in listenership to Radio in that same period. I urge you to share it with Mr. Addante. I trust his technology is more accurate than his assessment of Radio.

As for the LA times, I trust that you will take steps to correct the negative impression of Radio fostered by your article.

*source: M-Sun 6A-Mid persons 6+ using radio Arbitron PPM Los Angeles metro Jan 2009

Mary Beth Garber
Southern California Broadcasters Assn

In Los Angeles - Radio Means Business
The #1 Radio Revenue Market in the World
Radio -- Reach in Real-Time. Deliver the message when it matters with Radio.


Buzz Jackson said...

I love this chart. Here in Tucson the afternoon paper, the Tucson Citizen, is about to be closed. I think we should send a chart like that to every advertiser in the Citizen.

Scott Clements said...

We just hired a sales rep who was at one of our daily papers. It is his first gig in radio. I think he made the right decision.