Advertising slump – what will this mean for the ‘national newspaper of Wales’?

Today’s Western Mail advertises ‘6 pages of jobs’ on its front page. Not long ago, the Thursday jobs section would have been 16 pages or even more. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this means a big drop in advertising revenue from one of the most important streams – job ads. If you look at Western Mail job sections from a year or two ago, you’ll see that the vast majority of positions on offer were in the public sector. The public sector isn’t hiring on that scale any more!

Picture: BBC

The state of the housing market (influenced by the general economic climate and the banks’ new caution on mortgage lending) means another important source of newspaper advertising has been severely squeezed.

Faced with these pressures, journalists at the Western Mail, its sister paper the Daily Post and the rest of the Trinity Mirror titles in Wales must be wondering how much longer their boss, Sly Bailey, can stick to her undertaking that the last round of job cuts was the last (see report in Daily Telegraph from last March).

No doubt the issue will be an important talking point at this week’s annual conference of the National Union of Journalists.

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About James Stewart

Senior Lecturer in Radio Journalism.
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One Response to Advertising slump – what will this mean for the ‘national newspaper of Wales’?

  1. Mal Lee says:

    Trepidation for declining sits vac ads is a fair point and the drop in pagination is an absolute indicator to the sharp decline in general vacancies. However i would like to point out that the WM and SWE have run a virtual monopoly in this sector for the past 20 plus years, with sits vac ads costing in excess of 4 times that of their rop single column centimetre rate.
    I can clearly remember the days when the Echo would carry pages of local government job ads, which would have cost us, the local taxpayers an obscene amount of money. The cosseted golden days of Trinity as well as local government may well be a thing of the past, but I’m afraid I won’t be shedding a tear for either of them. Welcome to the real world guys.
    PS- for those of you who think Sly Bailey will stick to her word, don’t forget to leave some milk and a biscuit out for Santa this Christmas.

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