Claim: As TV Fragments, Newspapers Are Last Mass Medium

By: E&P Staff

With television audience fragmentation at an all-time high, newspapers are now one of the last true mass mediums remaining, the publisher of the Toronto Star said Thursday.

And, according to a report in the Star, newspapers now are learning how to make their Internet investments pay and are poised for significant gains in the future.

“More and more newspapers are becoming the sole mass medium, particularly for advertising, as television becomes more and more fragmented,” Star publisher John Honderich told an audience of media buyers at the Advertising Club of Toronto.

To back up his point, Honderich said the advertising community need only look as far as Toronto, which he called “without question the most competitive newspaper market on the continent.” Toronto has four English-language daily newspapers. There also are two free commuters papers, dozens of community newspapers and two Chinese-language dailies.

Another participant at the meeting was Globe and Mail Publisher Phillip Crawley. He said newspapers are beginning to learn that Web sites can be synergistic revenue streams and not the usurpers some doomsayers feared in the past.

“How foolish their comments now look,” Crawley said. “Newspapers and online actually complement each other.” Crawley added that his paper is increasingly studying ways to implement pay models on its Web sites.

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