May 21st, 2012

News Brands Eclipse Newspapers
Newspaper Industry Officially Accepts Dead Tree Press Finished

In January 2010 Guido gave a presentation at Microsoft’s HQ to the Online Journalism Association, the thesis was that newspapers as we know them will die and journalism would thrive. Guido’s pitch was that the old deadline based “news cycle” is being replaced by “news streams” and that newspapers as we know them will be replaced by “news brands”.

Today the industry trade body for the dead tree press, the Newspaper Marketing Association, accepted the thesis and announced it is renaming itself “Newsworks”, dropping dead entirely the word “newspaper”. CEO Rufus Olins says “We need to start thinking differently… It’s all about newsbrands, about delivering content through a range of platforms.” Guido thinks we can only measure the strength of news brands in terms of their mindshare. The broadsheets – Guardian, Times, Indy – all lose money and are more akin to vanity publishing than profit motivated businesses. It is about who they reach and how much they influence their consumers.

As the news industry and more importantly – from a financial perspective – the advertising industry comes to realise that online and print consumers are fungible, reality starts to hit home. In under a decade this blog has become as strong a news brand in our field in terms of readership and mindshare as the New Statesman, hell we’re part way through a reverse-takeover of The Spectator. The great thing for consumers is that because of low barriers to entry, we have an ever more competitive, pluralist, thriving free market in news. Without slaughtering trees…


  1. 1
    Realistic says:

    I’d like to complain about all the trees. They get in the way of a good view.


  2. 2
    pokey turtle says:

    It’s amazing that your brand of utter shite is so popular. Still, if you’re in the race to the bottom, why not take a few window lickers with you?


  3. 3

    And you don’t tend to get instant opinions in the dead tree press. And very few articles littered with F’s, C’s and euphemisms for the afofementioned!


  4. 4
    Guardian Reading Fucktard says:


    No. No. No.

    The Guardian must remain as a uniquely funded (thank you, Auto-Trader reading minions) bastion of correct thought. I couldn’t give a damn if the circulation figures are risible – ordinaries need to be told what they must do, say and think.

    The unique tax affairs of the Guardian Media Group must also be held above common analysis, because everything the paper says and does is so very very correct.

    Now go and pay your television license to uniquely fund our broadcast wing. We really, really like our broadcast wing.


    • 10
      BBC says:


      We are thinking of moving into print now that the market is ripe for competition and growing.


      • 14
        BBC HR Dept says:

        Our vacancy adverts sniffing out the latest batch of shirt-lifting, self-righteous, coke-addled, oh-so-pc-luvvies make it straight into the Guardian – and ONLY the Guardian – every week.

        Now that’s what I call ‘moving into print’. No nasty riff-raff with unacceptable opinions here thank you.


      • 37
        Nom Dom Nom says:

        Just what we need a newspaper that you HAVE to buy.


    • 13
      Anonymous says:

      Agreed! Added to which,who else would be available & prepared to pay for hypocritical Polly’s writings?


    • 57
      Whippersnapper2 says:

      Spot on cur.
      Do the Scott trust have a bottomless pit?
      The filthy anti-Semitic rag is still in business. Personally I have never bought a copy in my life and I had a wonderful cathartic moment abt. 3 years ago when I deleted them from my browser — and that was FREE. Try it – you feel really good afterwards.


      • 67
        will says:

        the scott trust are in business supported by autotrader (which is a 50/50 joint venture with APAX private equity). Also the guardian has lots of interns working for it. As i have said before if google or facebook decided to increase it revenue by moving into the autotraders territory then it will quickly crumble. All facebook needs to do is offer low cost advertising to all car dealers then the market will quickly migrate to its platform.


  5. 5
    Nom Dom Nom says:

    You’re use of the term fungible seems to point to the fact that you think readers are commodities. Are you a politician?


  6. 8
    Prince Charles says:

    I speak to dead trees through a medium


  7. 9
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    I hear a trumpet being blown.


  8. 11
    Gordon Brown says:

    I like magazines better than newspapers as less ink comes off on your tongue


  9. 15
    yippee says:

    So everythings great then.

    Dream on, Greedo.


  10. 17
    Bonzi says:

    I take it this wasn’t part of your contribution to the print based version of the Daily Star?


  11. 22
    Call me Dave says:

    Speaking of advertising, why is it that every time I come on here I see adverts for butt plugs and leather posing pouches?


  12. 24
    Call me Dave says:

    Spe@king of advertising, why is it that every time I come on here I see adverts for butt plugs and leather posing pouches?


  13. 26
    King Ludd says:

    I do worry about the trees. Withut a use such as paper, they may become obsolete and end up being replaced by something else.


    • 50
      Engineer says:

      They will indeed. No need for pit-props and newsprint, no need for Sitka Spruce and similar conifers. The only coniferous timber worth growing in the UK will be Scot’s Pine for joinery-grade redwood.


      • 54
        Croesus says:

        I feel an eco-tax scam coming on…


        • 69
          will says:

          no we have to import trees into this country besides a lot of people outside of London used them in thier wood burners, so trees will still be needed.


    • 60
      Vimeiro says:

      What, like houses?


  14. 27
    Anonymous says:

    Why are you so keen that we should all read your insipid column in the red top rag, then?


  15. 28
    Nom Dom Nom says:

    What maybe true is that the red tops will outlive the broadsheets.

    for example if you have the use of a PC at the office as well as at home then yes you will more likely move to news online as your primary source, but if you are say on a building site with no internet access (other than maybe your phone) then print may well be your primary news source for longer.

    So maybe more print will move left wing to cater for its increasingly left wing audience.

    Food for thought.


    • 46
      Engineer says:

      Not sure the ‘audience’ is getting more left wing. Quite a lot of it seems to be generally anti-EU, sceptical about climate ‘dangers’, frustrated by having to support a huge public sector cost, and deeply frustrated about all the petty employment, elf’n’safety and similar legislation they are burdened with.

      Most people (that’s real people, not political wonkers) I know just want to be left alone to get on with life. They want government off their backs – they certainly don’t want more of it, national or EU. Don’t think that’s very ‘left-wing’.


    • 56
      JH says:

      “So maybe more print will move left wing to cater for its increasingly left wing audience.”

      Jeesus fucking Christ. Have you seen the Guardian readership figures? The ‘left wing audience’ is tiny, and increasingly so.

      Take away the cosy little GPMG offshore arrangement, where Auto Trader reading peons fund the self-righteous waffle of their betters, and the Guardian would die on its self-righteous arse.

      The only reason the ‘left wing audience’ has influence so utterly out of balance with their numbers is due to massive de-facto subsidies from government, especially the BBC.


  16. 29
    Firefox Fan says:

    I never get an advert, pop-up or bugger all that I don’t want – SO THERE!


  17. 31
    Sophie says:

    Ok, so that is the dead tree press consigned to the dustbin of history, can you now please concentrate on playing your part in destroying the Labour, Lib Dem & Conservative monolithic cabal of dinosaurs?


  18. 32
    Loungelizard says:

    With all that’s happening in the world the best Labour can come up with is ‘Don’t woriee Tony is cummin back’ Bit like letting the serpent back into the garden of Eden.


    • 35
      Nom Dom Nom says:

      According to a leaked report a battle field ready Bliar can now be deployed within 45 minutes from Labour HQ
      If they deploy him 100km up in the atmosphere the resulting EMP (Egocentric Manipulating Prick) blast will take out all the common sense left in the UK


    • 38
      UKIPMAN says:

      Which country is the hand of God telling him we should invade next?

      My money is on Greece, if the Germans don’t beat us to it. Oh shit they already have.


    • 53
      Gordon Brown says:

      Readies Nokia Gatling gun


  19. 33
    Ed Balls - Shallow Chancer says:

    The Money Trees which Gordon and I planted in Downing Street also appear to be dead.


  20. 36
    Engineer says:

    Broadly, Guido’s right – up to a point. However, I don’t think newspapers will disappe*r for a few years yet – or I hope not, at any rate. I rather enjoy the ritual of sitting down with a pot of coffee and the Telegraph on a Saturday morning, and it’s far easier to scan a sheet of newsprint for an intriguing headline than to scroll through pages of garbage on a screen. While there are still enough people like me, there will still be newspaper sales, even if one or two long-lived titles cease print publication.

    History tends to suggest that new technologies don’t kill old ways, but often add another way of doing things. Radio didn’t kill newspapers, television didn’t kill radio, and t’internet hasn’t – so far – killed either.

    Quite apart from which, you can’t lay sheets of blog on the workbench when you’ve got something oily to clean, or catch the drips with one when you’re painting a door, or start a bonfire with one.

    I suspect that newspapers will be around for a good few years yet, just not in the volume they were before.

    I suspect that standards of journalism will slip, though. Speed of publication will become even more of an imperative, and that will impact on time available for checking of sources, sub-editing and wordcraft. Quality – and accuracy – will suffer.


    • 85
      Conrad says:

      I hope newspapers stick around a while, I don’t know what I’ll line the cat’s litter tray with otherwise.


      • 86
        Airey Belvoir says:

        I think that the Saturday and Sunday print market will hold up, as people like the crosswords, travel/property/culture add-ons over a weekend, but the dailies will fade badly.


  21. 52
    Whippersnapper2 says:

    The print press has been finished for a long time (ask the advertising industry)
    Leveson is digging the grave with the help of the usual crackpot brigade who’s heads are so far up their ar*es they are chewing their tonsils and drawing massive wages from me. Scum of the earth all.


  22. 55
    hypocrite says:

    ‘every citizen has equal worth’ says Ed Milliband….except Labour wont practise what they preach in Northern Ireland where their refusal to contest elections means the citizen there cant vote for a UK Government party.


  23. 59
    Tom Tomos says:

    Waterstone’s are to sell Kindles and ebooks. Why would you want to go to a shop to buy an ebook? Guido’s right, the DTP is, well… dying.


    • 87
      Airey Belvoir says:

      People are using bookshops to browse, see what they like and then download it from Amazon for many pounds less. I’ll admit to doing it, but at least i didn’t have the crass bad manners of somebody I saw tapping away at his Kindle while standing in front of the shelves. The local literary festival – organised by the independent bookshop here – is still talking about the author who gave a talk which he read off a Kindle….


  24. 62
    Backwoodsman says:

    So, what’s the exit strategy going to be. An IPO or a reverse into The Scott Trust ?
    If its the former, you can hand Neo the keys and fuck off to the Bahamas, kick back and relax.
    If its the latter, think how much fun you’d have reading CIF with us lot posting there !


  25. 64
    Guido’s Small Ads: Drowning St. Household Helpers, Janitors to the Gentry (prop. Dave Dismal) says:

    There in the twinkling of an eye!

    Why not try us next time?


  26. 68
    Divide and Rule says:


    • 72
      Jim Bowen says:

      Smashing, Super, Great


    • 73
      will says:

      well diane i would like to see how many actually get moved out. do you have some figures or are you talking out of your big black arse again


    • 78
      why compare the realities of social housing to the holocaust? says:

      Is there really any need to use such inflamatory language? The reality is that there are too many immigrants and Landlords are trying to milk the system, councils or rather the council tax payer simply can not afford this anymore. Why can’t a Labour politician tell the truth for once?

      And as sure as eggs are eggs as soon as councils stop funding thes exhorbitant rents then they will drop like a stone anyway.


    • 79
      Stuart Pidd says:

      On the Homebase adverts I see that people are now living in containers piled one on top of the other.
      Is this as a result of government policy?


  27. 80
    Breaking News says:

    “Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to be investigated over claims he failed to register donations from media firms”


Media Reader

Bad News About News | Bob Keiser
When to Quit Your Journalism Job | Press Think
Guardian Looks Outside North London For New Editor | Media Guido
Guardian Staff’s Elite Schooling | Chris McGovern
Clodagh’s Law | Press Gazette
Meanwhile, in Russia… | Media Guido
Christmas TV Tips | Laura Perrins
All Star Line Up for New BBC Theme Park | David Keighley
City AM’s Kate McCann Joins The Sun | MediaGuido
What Has 57 Heads, 12 Controllers and 321 Editors? | Press Gazette
Where are Brand’s Ideas? | Nigel Farage

Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

Mandy Rice-Davies (R.I.P.) on Lord Astor’s denial of their affair….

“Well he would, wouldn’t he?”

Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:


AddThis Feed Button

Guido Reads

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,646 other followers