Many observers tend to conceive any changes in media businesses as trends that are irreversible or to combine them with other changes to make sweeping generalizations about industry conditions. The results are often wrong and distract observers from asking deeper more appropriate questions about longer-term developments and how media companies use the resources they have.

To understand changes one needs to consider developments separately to determine their origin and expected duration. This allows one to determine what are the result of external trends and what are the result of company choices. Only then can one begin combining them with other observations.

Thus, one needs to consider whether the ratings increase for AMC is due to people spending more watching cable channels or an effect of the AMC's investments in quality programming and the popularity of programs such as Mad Men? If it is the former, one can enjoy benefits with little effort or extra investment; if it is the latter, the company will want to consider additional investments in other programming.

Is the decline in broadcast television advertising in the first half of 2008 a harbinger of a advertisers moving expenditures out of broadcasting or a reflection of the current economy and the condition of the automobile industry and its declining ad budget? If it is the first, long-term trouble is brewing and companies will need to give significant thought to their business models and cost structures. If it is the latter, the financial difficulties caused by the reduction may be short- to mid-term and will merely have to be endured until conditions improve.

Is the decline the in national newspaper advertising the result of reduced spending by advertisers or because of changes in the number of national advertisers and the ways they allocate their budgets. The latter requires rethinking income potential and expenditures for selling national advertising, whereas the former will create less longer-term trauma.

Many observers also seem to think that budgets cuts are necessarily bad and unusual for companies, but they are normal occurrences because of the cyclical nature of advertising expenditures. When ad dollars are flowing vigorously, media companies expand their budgets; when that flow lessens, companies reduce their budgets.

What is important about budget cuts is that they be instituted in strategic way to leave the core capabilities of the firm intact so the firm can benefit when conditions change and not miss critical time and financial benefits by having to rebuild those capabilities when better times occur.

It is alo important that budget cuts not be made equally and across the board, but that they be made by clearly analyzing the necessity of existing cost structures and operations. The challenge for many traditional media is that they are labor intensive and labor costs often are the one of the leading portions of their expenses. If one must cut labor, it should be done considering which employees can easily be replaced later, whether all operations, products, and services need to be maintained, and whether outsourcing some functions is an option.

Many companies also forget to look at the top as well as the bottom of their operations when cost cutting occurs. Today, for example, many newspaper companies need to be asking whether expensive corporate offices, private jets, and high corporate salaries and perks are warranted and necessary or if they should cut those corporate expenditures and the management fees they lay on local newspapers to pay for them.

In times of change, one needs clear vision of what is happening to an industry and company and to ask broader questions than are typically asked in firms and by industry observers. Those who do so benefit; those who don't pay a price.

Disaster For Most New Importers

This post will hopefully help anyone or any
business contemplating importing products avoid disaster.

The disaster that most new importers experience is they are
blinded by the "hype" of great wealth and riches from
importing cheap, low cost merchandise and after their money
is sent, the merchandise is on it's way or already sitting
in their garage or storage facility, they reach the stark
reality of not knowing how or who to market it to.

When I am able to talk with one of these budding importer
entrepreneurs, I highly recommend to them that they develop
their market, before they go and buy a containerload of
products that they may end up having to sell for a nickel
or dime on the dollar - enter the disaster many actually

My primary recommendation for developing your market it
by selling products on Ebay. Learning what sells, what
doesn't. Learning the basics of customer service, order
fulfillment, order processing and shipping costs.

During the process of selling these goods on Ebay, they
learn the lessons of doing business that are truly necessary
to avoid a disaster of major proportions.

Now Ebay has made some very major changes recently and
quite frankly I believe you should take advantage of
several new F*REE videos that are being made available
before moving into using this huge marketing powerhouse.

Now the remainder of this update is from the publisher of
these F*REE videos and a brand new updated course on
marketing and selling via Ebay.

If nothing else, watch the videos and even if you do not
get their course (which I recommend you do) but if you
do not, you will still learn a lot of valuable information
about marketing and selling on this huge marketplace.

By the way, Ebay is not just for stuff up in the attic
or in the garage, there are many multi-million dollar
businesses that are selling their goods in this huge,
most highly trafficed marketplace on the Internet.

Now here are the details on the new course and F*REE
videos - you can skip the rest of the description and
go there right now using the following link or continue
to read more details - your choice -

You could be making literally thousands of dollars a year
online WITHOUT even getting your own website... and you
can learn how to do it for FREE!

Let me explain...

Derek Gehl and his in-house team of experts have been spending
the past few MONTHS analyzing all of the latest developments
and changes at eBay, the world's biggest online marketplace...

... and they've applied what they've learned to create a simple,
three-step system you can follow to rake in a healthy chunk
of the $60 BILLI0N that exchanges hands on eBay every YEAR!

And the best part?

Derek's laid out the entire profitable system in a set of
training videos that you can watch RIGHT NOW for FREE!

First, he's going to reveal the number one mistake that nearly
EVERY new "eBayer" makes when they're getting started
(it's a BIGGIE, and it can stop you COLD from ever making

After that, he'll explain his secret three-step formula
for evaluating ANY item to determine if it'll be a HOT
seller... teach you how to find hungry markets that are
BEGGING to buy what you're selling...

... and wrap up this three-video series by looking at what's
new and different at eBay, and explaining EXACTLY how to
take advantage of the recent changes to start profiting
RIGHT AWAY (while everyone else is scrambling to get

This system is FULL of secret strategies that virtually
NOBODY else knows about!

It's also been tested and proven by his own elite group of
eBay mentors, so you KNOW it's gonna work for you, too.

So if you want to learn how to start making SERIOUS money
online in the fastest time possible, without having to create
your own website (or if you'd like to add an additional
stream of income to an existing website), I highly recommend
Derek's three FREE eBay training videos!

Start watching them RIGHT AWAY by following this link:

That is all for this update. Take care until next time.

Ron Coble
Coble International
International Business Trade Center

P.S. The sooner you watch these FREE eBay videos, the sooner
you'll be able to swoop in and start making HUGE profits
while your competitors are still struggling to learn about
all the changes!

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Voices in and around the newspaper industry would have us believe the industry is falling apart and taking its last gaps. Investors are fleeing newspaper companies, publishers are decrying the lack of newspaper advertising growth, debt challenges are plaguing many companies, and there are layoffs and buyouts everywhere.

If one rationally looks at the industry, however, one sees that it is fundamentally sound, but that a unique, financially golden period in its history is ending. It is that change which is creating the bulk of the turmoil in the industry, but the biggest problem is that those working in the industry have short memories about the newspaper business and don't remember it any other way.

The generation leading newspapers and newspaper companies today has only experienced a period in which extraordinary growth of advertising increased newspaper revenue across the nation. That growth, combined with the development of local monopolies, created a period that enriched papers highly. This, of course, created great interest in investors and produced capital that allowed public companies to grow and acquire papers, driving up newspaper prices and the value of newspaper assets.

Today, the conditions that drove the growth of the past 3 decades are ending, wealth is being stripped from the industry, investors are losing interest, and publishers are struggling with negative and low growth.

Things are terrible, right? They are worse than every before, aren’t they?

Those views are only true if one takes a limited historical perspective and conceives the industry as a way to riches, something few newspaper owners did in generations past. With the exception of a few major cities, one could not get rich being a newspaper owner. Publishers nationwide could make a living in newspaper, but much of their reward came from being socially influential in the community. Before the extraordinary profitability of the last quarter of the 20th century, newspapers were relatively unprofitable and breaking even was the primary financial goal of most publishers.

Contemporary developments are taking us back toward that situation, but even with the u-turn in the business, we need to recognize that newspaper revenue today is better than it was in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. In fact, adjusted for inflation, newspapers in 2007 had two and a half times the advertising income that they had in 1950. In terms of employment, there are still twenty percent more journalists working in newspapers than in the highly profitable years that fueled the growth of corporate newspapering.

Those working in the newspaper industry need to be realistic and understand what the effects of contemporary changes mean. They don’t mean disaster, but they mean changes in the business of newspapers, the way the industry has operated for the past three decades, and how they need to perceive the industry.