Will the last to advertise in the newspaper please switch off the machine!

by Alistair Helm in

I am not, to be honest too sure as to my reaction to the all too frequent local newspaper that is stuffed into our letter box. To call it a newspaper is challenging that definition as it is by my simple calculation 62% adverts including advertorial and around 15% stories - not the newsworthy type; the balance being adverts from the newspaper itself.

The paper I should also point out is now reduced to just 8 pages - why do they persist in this industry - can it be profitable? I wish to be honest, it wasn't stuffed into our letterbox; after all we do have a prominent "No Junk Mail" sign on it and to my mind, this is junk - equal to a flyer for some restaurant or grocery offer - but don't get me started on junk mail.

Anyway; why I have no idea, but I did scan this thin paper and was stunned to see the classified section at the back still has a Real Estate section. Long gone are the days when this would have had columns and maybe even pages of adverts for property for rent or sale - a very lucrative business in its day. Now that space is taken up with a solitary advert from the publisher, trying to entice a local real estate agent to "profile yourself and your services where it counts - in the papers that service your areas". How many agents have taken up this opportunity? - none!

The writing has been on the wall for years - people looking for property to rent or buy go online. People looking to find an agent go online. The end for newspapers is drawing closer, it's demise started as the classified dollars started their migration online - first it was cars, then jobs and now real estate, there's not much left to support these dinosaurs of a bygone era.