As Coronavirus Squeezes the Ad Industry, Local Publishers Are Feeling the Pain

Uptick in digital subscriptions not making up for lost ad revenue

Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs in recent years, with the biggest blows dealt at the local level. As other businesses recovered after the 2008 financial crisis, they took their digital ad dollars to Facebook and Google instead of publishers’ websites and news pages. Local news organizations still haven’t found their footing.

Now, news organizations, as all industries, face a new economic threat. But this time, local publishers are without the last leg they had to stand on in advertising dollars from local businesses now forced close to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Gannett, among the largest local newspaper owners in the country, announced today that it would not pay workers making more than $38,000 for one week per month through June; The Tampa Bay Times is reducing its print schedule to two days per week while its newsroom continues to aggressively cover the virus; and alt-weekly owners with publications in multiple...



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