The demise of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald, a longstanding member of Saskatchewan’s media community, is the embodiment of a bigger transformation that is gripping the traditional media.
New numbers on the performance of Canada’s newspaper industry provide some insight into what happened in Moose Jaw.
Sales are down. It’s just that simple. As a business, the traditional newspaper is fighting an uphill battle, trying to retool at a time when advertisers and readers are headed in another direction.
Last year, revenues for Canada’s newspapers were 20 per cent lower than they were in 2014. The StatsCan report detailing these figures showed advertising sales in that two-year period fell by nearly 22 per cent. Circulation or subscriber fees fell 10 per cent as readers were less likely to go for ink-on-paper to get their news fix.
And while most are trying to shift their business model from newsprint to a digital product, newsrooms are doing better than ad departments: content online is growing but advertising sales for online products is simply not growing.