In Spite Of All The New Readers And Viewers The Press Is Still Screwed

As the House plays footsy with the bailout bill and the banking system collapses, viewership and readership is up across a broad spectrum of news sites and networks–in particular, those focused on business. The esoteric and mundane world of MBSs and CDSs are eeking their way into the common parlance, while the pointless summer features of CNBC–breakfast in the hamptons–are a distant memory, with the ocotobox* front and centre, with panic and terror writ large between the lines in everything a talking head shouts.

The surge in CNBC (and Tech Ticker) viewers is great news for the octobox, and its current sponsors, but what does it mean for the future of business news? Not much. This crisis will pass, then it will be back to the boring market recaps delivered to the core CNBC audience. Sadly, this crisis, though it has bumped the public’s interest in news, will do little to save the news industry in the long run.

As Peter Kafka at Silicon Alley Insider has reported for the past two days, media revenue growth is slowing. Yesterday, AdAge said 2007 was the slowest year of growth since 2001. Today, MediaDailyNews, “found that the percentage of advertising budgets that are expected to increase over the next six months fell to 33% during the April/May period that its most recent survey was conducted, an eight percentage point drop from the Spring of 2007.”

Both of these studies were conducted before the financial world spun off its axis. So media companies, enjoy the viewers, enjoy the readers, try to cash in while it’s possible, because come 2009, 2010 the money probably won’t be there.





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