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Daily unveils price increase ‘to save journalists from cuts’

Shaun GreenA daily editor has announced a cover price increase in an attempt to save his newspaper from making further cutbacks to editorial staff.

Shaun Green, left, has announced the 10 pence increase to the cost of the Guernsey Press, which he says will be preferable to readers than “damaging cuts”.

The Press published an eight-page special publication outlining the reasons behind the move inside the newspaper, which will also be delivered later this month to every household in the island.

The increase came into effect last week, with each edition now costing 75p.

Shaun says the decision has not been taken “lightly” and that the increase is “more than we would wish”.

In an editorial about the change, he said the Press had noticed a “considerable fall” in job advertising since last September, following Brexit and in the run-up to the US elections.

He wrote: “Both of these global factors have created uncertainty for businesses here, particularly in finance, and we have certainly experienced a drop-off in spend from that sector during this time.

“As the community’s newspaper for more than 200 years, the Guernsey Press has been working hard to respond to these latest challenges and to improve efficiencies.

“We have had to take the very difficult decision to operate with fewer people and, by using technology advancements and working smarter, we have managed to avoid damaging the quality of the newspaper in the process.

“Our choice now is either to make further cuts, which will harm the Guernsey Press product, or to increase its cover price. We have chosen the latter route because we believe it will be preferable to readers rather than making damaging cuts.”

Shaun concluded: “The company regrets having to take this step but we wanted to explain our decision fully.

“We hope you will agree that the unmatched local coverage of our community that we provide is worth a little extra cost each day.”


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  • May 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

    If you decide to put your cover price up then say it as it is, costs are outweighing revenues
    if you’re not selling enough copies and not attracting enough advertising to the paoer currently, increasing the cover price really won’t help, in fact it’s more likely to drive existing buyers away, price homes are never the answer to falling sales
    As for brexit, falling job ad revenue and the us elections being trotted out as the reason for the price rise ….please

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  • May 16, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Is it possible to cram anymore lame excuses for a cover price rise into one article?
    Really scraping a barrel here to justify a large price rise on a publication it would appear is losing both its reader and commercial markets. There’s clearly a need to look at the real reasons sales are dropping by off and act accordingly.
    As for “….we have chosen the latter route because we believe it will be preferable to readers rather than making damaging cuts.”
    How desperate to take a blackmail approach to the reader rather than taking responsibility and ownership of their own business decisions,however with the choice being ‘buy our paper or we will lay off staff’ , at least by increasing the cover price the staff will now know their jobs are safe.

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  • May 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I’m no mathematician, but, weighing up the circulation, frequency, and the 10p increase, this move would deliver enough revenue to pay for somewhere between 12 and 15 journalists (depending on their roles).

    Assuming a price increase would lead to some depreciation in circulation, this would still be quite a significant sum, and a well stocked newsroom.


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  • May 16, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Maybe these commentators missed that the Guernsey Press (regularly the top performing daily in ABC rankings) has a significantly high readership particularly for such a small population?
    I’m sure the commentators also fully understand that the fixed costs of producing a daily newspaper are pretty much the same regardless of market size so a cover price increase, to replace declining advertising revenues isn’t necessarily a sign that readership is collapsing but a sign that the advertising subsidy that we’ve all relied on for the last 50 years is no longer sufficient to cover the ongoing investment in people, IT, buildings and business infrastructure etc, all the things that our bedsit bloggers and international search engine aggregators don’t have to worry about, until there are no more newspapers to nick content from.
    A little bit of research would also have helped inform our experts that the impact of Brexit and US/UK elections has might be a valid risk in a community where over 30% of the workforce is employed in international finance?

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  • May 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Any publication seen to be of value and interest to a buyer and which gets sufficient response for an advertiser will not need propping up via a cover price rise,likewise there would be no fall off from businesses in any of the classidted sections if they saw the paper as a good vehicle to spend their ad budget in, blaming Brexit and the American elections shows an editor in denial or without a real understanding of the market he’s trading in.
    Offering the reader the option of paying more or being responsible for staff redundancies shows complete disregard for the reader and the poor staff working there.

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  • May 16, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Shaun gives an excellent explanation for the need for the rise but others here would seem to prefer some job losses rather read ‘lame excuses’ about the state of the industry.
    I often find myself disagreeing with the posts of others but now I’m certain. It’s not me, it’s you lot! Get real FFS!

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  • May 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    A place with nearly 40% of employees in finance related business can’t possibly be affected by uncertainty in the financial markets following Brexit and the US elections can it?

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  • May 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    The reasons publishers are seeing huge losses in the sits vac /jobs sectors are nothing to do with Brexit, the American elections or a weak pound, much of it has been the result of government, the financial and legal sector and public bodies no longer forced to advertise their vacancies in the local press, the handcuffs were remove long before Seotember and as a result the recruitment revenue so many relied on and took for granted, has gone elsewhere, in many cases to the new strong independent publishers, it’s also been lost as a result of huge copy sale declines and the exorbitant rates charged when the big players had the monopoly… though I’m sure that’s not the case here.

    Each business is responsible for managing its own costs whichever way it feels fit however rarely has any succeeed when passing their own losses on to the end user

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  • May 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I don’t see any commenting ‘experts’ suggesting redundancies are the better of the two options editor Green is giving the papers readers as reason for increasing the cover price?
    I’m sure 10p more will be nothing to the good folk of jersey who currently buy the paper if they feel it is of sufficient interest and value to continue purchasing, it won’t however see a reversal of falling ad revenues which appears to be the main issue to resolve and will not encourage non buyers so it’s only a short term solution assuming they don’t drop more readers by doing so.
    Publishers have to manage their costs in the way they feel best , if they’ve no other option than to pass a price rise on to the end user that’s their choice but it doesn’t auger well for the future well being of the paper or publisher as that alone will hardly fill a bottom line gap if the only other satisfactory alternative is redundancy.
    Brexit, a falling pound and the other external reasons given are really not the cause of the problem here

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  • May 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Replying to Word Furnace (a source of much hot air?) perhaps some grudging recognition that buying all press consumables and commodities in Euros or dollars and then adding the cost of freighting these to Guernsey combined with the fall in sterling which has resulted in a less favourable exchange rate might make your comments appear more informed?
    Ad revenues are under attack from digital media (predominantly mobile) and are no longer just a side effect of declining readership,
    And as for Nelson’s nonsense about regional losing guaranteed business from advertisers to rival independent publishers…is this posting from the 1980’s, does he see only Free sheets through his telescope?

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  • May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Oh my days ‘From the Word furnace’, what’s this story got to do with Jersey?

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  • May 17, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I was always told that the cover price of the paper basically just paid for the printing costs

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  • May 17, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Caxton ( from the industry’s past ?)

    We all suffer the same falling revenue and fixed cost issues in varying degrees
    if business people saw the value and received sufficient response to their advertising in your paper they would continue,it’s usually lack of response or more favourable response /rates/service via a competitor be they online or in print. Unfavourable market conditions are very rarely the real reason for someone not advertising , ( the ad people might have you believe otherwise) , if a business advertiser spends x and gets x,y,z back it’s worked, and they’ll return, if it hasn’t and they’re dissatisfied, they won’t continue, that’s a very simple ROI strategy.

    No business stops investing In something that brings good returns no matter what the outside forces may be.
    If you plan on increasing the cover price of your paper due to falling revenues or increased costs and will be asking your customers to pay more that’s entirely your prerogative,just please don’t use ‘..otherwise we will have to make damaging cuts’ when justifying your reasoning for doing so.

    And exquest you’re right, apologies , I had Jersey,not Guernsey ,on my mind having recently returned from a short break to the CI, very nice but with brexit, the forthcoming U.K. election and the falling pound sadly I’ll not be returning for a while.

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  • May 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Talking about cost savings measures and how increasing the price of a paper being the last resort and a colleague just pointed out the line ” The Press published an eight-page special publication outlining the reasons…”

    Have they thought about reconsidering their pagination allocations??
    Oh the irony of using eight pages to explain how costs had to be saved

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  • May 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Why was it necessary to produce an eight page special to outline the reasons for putting the cover price up?
    Was this an attempt to bore the readers into submission?

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  • May 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    It also makes you wonder how thorough the review of costs and “buying all press consumables and commodities” was before deciding it was either quality and staff cuts or a price increase.
    Or maybe they are iable to buy newsprint at an exceptionally good rate so as to allow eight pages in thousands of copies to be given over exclusively to explaining why costs needed to be saved …or else

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  • May 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Where do I mention ‘freesheets’ in my comment?
    In fact the opposite, i refer to “…no longer forced to advertise their vacancies in the local press”
    Yet you assume it’s about free papers for some bizarre nonsensical reason?
    Maybe look through your own telescope and read my comment again,what I said was;
    “…in ‘many cases’ to the new strong independent publishers…”
    I didn’t mention ‘free papers’or papers at all, I was talking about the general situation with recruitment revenue losses across the uk ,not just in your area or about your paper.
    Digital recruitment sites and cv upload portals are growing in number and effectiveness whilst job ads being advertised in a local paper, usually at a vastly inflated rate ,especially in a paid for one, are in rapid decline,very few people use a paper for this outdated ( from the 80s ?) way of advertising their vacancies or for job seeking any longer.
    The market has moved on from pages and pages of bland ‘sits vac’ ads in print and the huge sums of revenue, for so long taken for granted ,has gone with it.

    However many of these new independent publishers
    (Both digital and print for your clarity) ,charging a sensible and fair rate, are capturing some of that market which must be galling to those publishers who have watched it slip away. Papers, who for many years, had little or no competition in print or on line, and who are now seeing huge losses to these new competitors and due in great part to arrogance or complacency in believing this was business they would always have and who are now having to take drastic measures to offset losses

    ….although I’m sure that’s not the case here

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