Marketplace Scratch Pad

New guest courtesy – No newspaper

Scott Jagow Apr 13, 2009

Marriott has decided to offer a new perk for guests — if you don’t want a newspaper, we won’t give you one. The company says starting June 1, guests can choose to have one of several papers dropped off at the door, or they can choose to have no paper at all.
Marriott says this will reduce newspaper distribution by about 18 million a year.

From Reuters:

Marriott’s move may hurt the newspaper business, but the company expects it will be good for the environment — something that many corporations are touting to gain a competitive edge and show their commitment to a “greener” world.

“We were seeing a lot of unused papers and thought of the waste,” Marriott spokeswoman Stephanie Hampton said. “We also saw a shift in customer demand and expectations — 25 percent of them didn’t read the hard copy any more, according to our preliminary studies.”

Just another dagger in the coffin. I also saw that the Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20% of its editorial staff. The Trib has been adding employees in “emerging growth” areas. One of the hires was a new spokeswoman, whose response to the story about the layoffs was – no comment.

Despite the continued flogging of newspapers, a new study from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard has this surprising finding:

U. S. daily newspapers deliver a total of 90.3 billion page impressions per month, print and online. The online share of these page is only 3.5 percent — 96.5 percent of page impressions delivered by newspapers are in print.

I find that statistic incredibly hard to believe, but read the article and decide for yourself.

Finally, the Boston Globe is asking “What Went Wrong?” since the paper is in serious financial trouble. This particular story looks back to 1995 when a young entrepreneur approached the Globe about taking an ownership stake in his start-up. The paper would put up $1 million for a chance to have its lucrative classified ads business on the web.

The Globe said no:

Sharing the newspaper’s nearly $100 million a year in help-wanted advertising didn’t make sense. “Our grandfathers would roll over in their graves,” Jeff Taylor recalled being told.

Soon after, Taylor sold his little business to a big advertising company.

It became Monster.com.

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