Is There Really Doom and Gloom for Today’s Media?

Just read an interesting article in the Raleigh-based newspaper, The News & Observer, and it has sparked a bit of thought from my inquisitive mind. On the one hand, it conjures up a smidgen of doom and gloom for the broadcast industry, but on the other hand…it also begs the simple one-word question, Really? Now, I know what some of you are thinking – “Hello…Lisa! Ummm…didn’t you just get laid off from a broadcast network recently?” And my answer is an ever-present and emphatic, well sure I did. So, I bet you are wondering why I question the implied demise of the media industry. Here. Let me explain.

The article is poignantly titled, “Ad Slump Hits Broadcasters” and talks about what seems to be the never-ending cycle of budget cuts and layoffs at local media outlets, especially the three majors here in the Triangle – WRAL, WTVD, and WNCN (my former employer). It is no secret that broadcasters whether in radio or television rely heavily on advertising revenue to produce and execute their product. Without it, broadcast companies must exercise cost-cutting measures in order to stay above the red, right? If that’s a shocker to anyone, my question for you then is – where have you been? Living under a rock?

Here’s the thing, though (and this is what begs the “really?” comment), in the digital age we are in, why should media companies rely on advertising dollars as their main source of revenue? I would like to believe that when this economy turns around…and if they’re smart, BEFORE this economy turns around…broadcasters are looking to additional methods to raise the capital they need to survive, that they are not solely relying on advertising.

Maybe I’m a bit naive here or maybe I’m not. Bottom line is most of us saw the writing on the wall before the magic crayon actually showed up. Most of us saw our economy in a downward spiral. Most of us in broadcasting knew our days were numbered and that it was only a matter of time.

BUT, some of us believe that given the right amount of creativity and innovative gumption, there is always a chance that when the economy picks itself up off the basement floor, there will be some broadcast companies out there that have already set their brilliant plans for added revenue in motion. Those are the companies that will not only survive but will also thrive.

Don’t ask me which ones are doing so. I don’t have THAT much knowledge on the topic. What I do have is a firm belief that because of this digital age we are in, someone somewhere is going to run a marathon with it and win the damn race. I hope in some way, shape, or form I’m on whomever’s team that does.

So, while the N&O article may suggest a bit of doom and gloom for the majority of the media industry, I think I’ll continue to look on the positive side. Of course, that’s while I continue to also look for a job too. You all thought I forgot about that, didn’t ya? Yeah, hard to forget but so easy to remain optimistic. At least it is for me.

Things will turn around. You’ll see. In the meantime, oh lookie there – seems to be there’s another job opportunity I need to check out. Must get my resume to THAT guy pronto!

Smiles,

Lisa 🙂

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Comments
8 Responses to “Is There Really Doom and Gloom for Today’s Media?”
  1. Lisa Sullivan says:

    Well said and I couldn't agree more!

    Now, if I can just find one of those businesses that is following this advice and is looking for someone like me to assist in their efforts, I'd be a happier camper. 🙂

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jeff!

  2. Lisa Sullivan says:

    Well said and I couldn't agree more!

    Now, if I can just find one of those businesses that is following this advice and is looking for someone like me to assist in their efforts, I'd be a happier camper. 🙂

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jeff!

  3. Jeff says:

    I will echo what Deidre said, but expand this beyond the media business to any business. You must develop multiple, diversified revenue streams or you will cease to exist. The time is right and the tools are available to test a variety of platforms and business models. The key is to set goals, execute your plans, examine results against those goals, and make you next decision based on those results, all with the knowledge that minor tweaks along the way are also part of the plan. And move on if something doesn't meet the goal. Remember that the path to success is not a straight line.

  4. Jeff says:

    I will echo what Deidre said, but expand this beyond the media business to any business. You must develop multiple, diversified revenue streams or you will cease to exist. The time is right and the tools are available to test a variety of platforms and business models. The key is to set goals, execute your plans, examine results against those goals, and make you next decision based on those results, all with the knowledge that minor tweaks along the way are also part of the plan. And move on if something doesn't meet the goal. Remember that the path to success is not a straight line.

  5. Lisa Sullivan says:

    My point exactly! In this day and age, companies can't always go by "what you USED to do" or what "we've always done". Gotta think outside the box and try new ideas to make things work. They don't do that and they are just about destined to crumble. At least in my very humble opinion, I believe that.

    Thanks for the comments, Deirdre!

  6. Lisa Sullivan says:

    My point exactly! In this day and age, companies can't always go by "what you USED to do" or what "we've always done". Gotta think outside the box and try new ideas to make things work. They don't do that and they are just about destined to crumble. At least in my very humble opinion, I believe that.

    Thanks for the comments, Deirdre!

  7. Deirdre Reid says:

    You're so spot on with this! It's the same for magazines. My former trade association (homebuilders) had (emphasis on "had") a very successful and highly regarded magazine that brought in a great deal of advertising revenue. Then the housing market imploded and you can imagine how our magazine shrunk. We saw it coming but our leadership wasn't willing to take risks and try new things, so the magazine ceased publication and many were laid off. Sound familiar? Lesson – don't be complacent, keep trying new things, diversify your revenue. It will be fascinating to see how all the different media adjust to this new world.

  8. Deirdre Reid says:

    You're so spot on with this! It's the same for magazines. My former trade association (homebuilders) had (emphasis on "had") a very successful and highly regarded magazine that brought in a great deal of advertising revenue. Then the housing market imploded and you can imagine how our magazine shrunk. We saw it coming but our leadership wasn't willing to take risks and try new things, so the magazine ceased publication and many were laid off. Sound familiar? Lesson – don't be complacent, keep trying new things, diversify your revenue. It will be fascinating to see how all the different media adjust to this new world.

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