Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette Essay

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Pages: 12

Strategic Planning at The Chronicle Gazette

1. Introduction

The Chronicle Gazette, a leading newspaper in San Francisco with paid circulation of 225,000 customers. It is a first-rate newspaper and over the years, its writers have won awards for their work.

Despite of the well-established image and reputation, The Chronicle Gazette is facing a severe situation that there has been a steady decline in subscriptions. In the past eight years, subscriptions have fallen by a total of 35% and advertising revenue has also dropped by 28%.

Susan Feinman, the publisher of The Chronicle Gazette, noted the criticalness of the problem and worried this will become the 21st century equivalent of buggy whip manufacturers. The company is not
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Notes: Figures are for six months ending in March 2009 compared to same period in March 2008. Averages are for Monday-Friday readership.

Table (C) Newspapers Advertising Revenue


Table (D) Top 10 U.S. Newspapers Circulations

Figures as of Oct 31, 2008
Sources: Editor and Publisher


3. Why newspapers are facing declining circulations and revenues?

1. External Assessment

1. Rise of the Web and Internet

The key challenge for newspapers is to hold on to lucrative print readers, while finding ways too make more money from a growing online audience that generally reads the paper for free. Print circulation for daily papers fell by 13.5% from 2001 to 2008, and 17.3% for Sunday editions. Losses are mounting. Average daily newspaper print circulation fell 7% alone during the six-month period ending March 31, 2009, compared too the same period in 2008 (see above Table B)

As print circulation declines, online readership is soaring. U.S. newspaper websites averaged more than 73 million individual visitors a month in the first quarter of 2009, up 10.5% from the same period in 2008. Newspapers are attracting online readers from well beyond their local communities including other cities and countries.

Newspaper executives point to surging online readership as an endorsement of their product, saying public interest in news has increased, not diminished. But readership trends are