Publications discontinued by economic crisis

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The Romanian media market was fully hit by the economic crisis in 2009, with a drop having been recorded in revenues drawn from advertising by at least 30 percent. Moreover, according to data issued by the Romanian Circulation Audit Office (BRAT), no less than 47 publications have been discontinued in 2009, reads the Financiarul daily (www.financiarul.com).

Nevertheless, the problems of the media industry did not represent a surprise for managers this year, according to Capital magazine. Anticipating the drop in their revenues, some of the media groups have resorted to severe cuts in the costs, either through wage cuts either through closing down some publications.

For instance, Publimedia, which is the publishing division of the MediaPro group, gave up printing of local newspapers and also of such niche magazines (Go4it, One, Target etc.). All these publications are still available online, with a reduced number of employees working for them now.

The Intact Media Group preferred to cut wages of its employees by some 20 percent instead of cutting its publication portfolio. Ringier Romania closed the free of charge publication Compact and reduced the editorial team working at Evenimentul zilei. Among the publications that disappeared in their printed format there were also those belonging to Business Media Group, which gave up Business Review, Business Week and Campaign.

The Realitatea-Catavencu group made an attempt to swim against the stream announcing in the beginning of the year that it was to continue with investments and also to rise in its employee’s wages. Unfortunately, the crisis made it very difficult for the group, with constant loss pushing the management into deciding to give up financing of its printed division, Cotidianul, Money Express and Business Standard being among the most important publications targeted by this decision. The survival of some publications depends now on finding investors to take them over.

The general trend on the market is massive development and also migrating to the online divisions. The value of investments in the latest years in various portals stands at some million of euros, according to some estimates. Migrating online is normal in the context of an increasing number of users of Internet (there currently exist some 6 million users of Internet in Romania), while the number of media consumers is dropping. Including the consumption of broadcast television dropped in 2009 by 7 percent compared with 2008, down to the lowest level in the latest five years, according to the Cultural Consumption Barometer.

The year 2010 appears to be as weak as 2009, especially in terms of advertising. Estimates indicate that the television channels will continue to dominate this sector, while the online segment will attract more and more consumers and the printed media will remain the most affected.

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