Ken Doctor, the US media consultant, is going to a conference in New York this week, which features newspaper CEOs in conversation with the financial analysts who cover the industry.
Doctor politely dismisses the “not unimportant” questions that tend to get asked at events like this. He’s got a few “pointed” ones to ask. These, he says, are the “kinds of questions that journalists themselves are now quietly asking behind the scenes”.
No.5 is quite good:
- In an era of inevitably declining print revenues, does your company have a plan to transition as quickly as possible from print to digital, so that you won’t be forever burdened with high legacy costs while building the online business? Can you tell us about it?
No. 6 is a corker, liable to sort the sheep from the goats:
- Cost-containment is key in this transition. How much of your cost-cutting is attributable to newsprint and ink, how much to streamlining (production, advertising, circulation, publishing) systems and how much to staff reduction?