News & Tech
A typical revenue mix for a newspaper used to be 80 percent advertising and 20 percent circulation. But at The Dallas Morning News, it’s now 60 percent advertising, 30 percent print and digital subscribers and consumer purchases; and 10 percent commercial printing and distribution. CEO Jim Moroney says the abundance of online ad inventory means “we’re not trading digital dollars for digital dimes; we’re trading digital dollars for digital pennies.”
At the Morning News, we did approximately 40 million page views per month. If we had three ads on each page, and if we sold every ad on every page every day, and you assume a $10 average CPM, we would generate just over $14 million annually. We invest $35 million in our newsroom. I just don’t think digital dimes will get you there. And certainly digital pennies won’t. Metro newspaper sites just won’t scale to make those dimes and pennies add up anywhere close to the revenue being lost in the print product. We must find different ways to realize the value of our digital audiences than just CPM based advertising. Go ahead and stack the digital ad dimes. Yet at the same time, I’d be looking for sources of revenue other than advertising.