More Bad News: Hollywood Money May Leave ‘Newsosaurs’

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By: E&P Staff

The Hollywood studios are about to dramatically slice their ad budgets for newspapers, Nikki Finke reports this week in her L.A. Weekly column, with the prime losers set to be the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

“Every major movie studio,” she writes, “is rethinking its reliably humongous display ad buys in those papers because those newsosaur readers are, to quote one mogul, ‘older and elites’ compared to younger, low-brow filmgoers — so it makes no sense to waste the dough.”

This, she suggests, could affect coverage in the major papers, which might halt their trend to more culture coverage if ads start to dry up.

Of course, one reason for less reliance on ads is the trend of younger people moving to the Web for movie information, start times, and ticket buying. Also, box office revenue is in decline overall. Spending on full-page color ads in the major markets is expensive, and sometimes done only to stroke the “ego” of stars and studio execs.

“All advertisers dearly love the 18-to-34 demographic, and the Hollywood movie studios are no exception. In their eyes, the newsosaurs aren’t measuring up,” Finke writes. “Sources at the two Hollywood studios who are axing their movie display ads in newspapers gave me that information on the condition they not be identified. But, studiowide, it’s on everyone’s to-do list. ‘We’re rethinking our newspaper ads and I mean, literally, on every movie. Everybody is,’ one movie mogul tells me. ‘The only people who read newspapers are older and elitist. Movies like Sky High don’t need ads in The New York Times. But the studios did it because newspapers were seen as a necessary evil. But I don’t think it’s as important anymore.’?

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