What lies ahead for the media?

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Here are a few possibilities for the next few weeks and months. On reflection, most seem fairly obvious. If so, apologies, but I thought I’d post them anyway.

  • Against the backdrop of new corporate budgets being put in place for next year, this week’s events feel like the trigger for serious declines in B2B marketing spend where this isn’t already happening. B2B has been lagging behind declines in the consumer economy. This could change.
  • Oil is falling in price. The sheikhs are freaking out at the carnage in the banking sector. The Russian government has shut the country’s stock exchanges. Combined with the huge job losses in the City, this is bad news for the luxury goods sector. Ditto for Conde Nast and IPC.
  • Consolidation and less competition in retail financial services means a long-term hole in ad revenues. Notably, the sector has been a major source of online ad growth.
  • More pressure on media companies with big pension liabilities (Trinity Mirror, ITV). A few months ago, there were murmurings that Trinity’s pension trustees were overweight in equities (shares). Hopefully, that has changed.
  • As predicted below: more pressure on debt-laden media companies (Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press, Informa and private equity owners, too). Rights issues are unthinkable any time soon. Job cuts will intensify. Tim Bowdler and Sly Bailey have their work cut out. Likewise, the NUJ.

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