On 21 February 2019, Chris Moerdyk asks the question “Just how far have South African newspapers fallen?” Gill Randall, Joint CEO of SPARK Media, gives her thoughts.
It is important to note the article written by Chris Moerdyk refers mainly to daily and weekend papers and most certainly does not apply to local newspapers.
Daily and weekend newspapers have experienced declining circulations for many consecutive years, and this isn’t a trend that looks to reverse anytime soon. The decline during ten-year period for daily and weekend newspapers from 2008 to 2018 has been 56% and 57% respectively. In stark contrast, the LOCAL newspaper category – where Caxton is the major player – remains stable and shows growth in certain areas. Over the same ten-year period we saw a 9% increase in circulation, a trend that we are confident will continue for many years.
This successful model has for many decades covered relevant local information and locally available shopping deals – a format that has kept this particular category of newspapers strong, both in terms of the free and sold publications.
Local newspapers remain the only mass-media print option available nationally, as well as offering the benefit of tactical and/or geo-segmented opportunities to reach large audiences.