State of the Media 2012-Exciting and Transformative Time

Posted by on February 6, 2012

What exactly is going on in the media industry? Gary Teagarden, Globe Education Network’s Communication Manager, shares resources with campus communicators. One especially piqued my interest…the State of Media 2012 webinar, where a media research team from VOCUS weighs in with the latest media trends, supported by interesting facts, figures, trends and analyses. I just had to share what I learned with you!

VOCUS (, a leading provider of cloud-based marketing (any and all marketing efforts that take place on the internet), held a State of the Media 2012 webinar that made a number of insightful statements regarding 2012 trends for newspaper, television, magazine, social media and radio. “Evolving” and “merging” are the catchwords for 2012, the year dubbed “an exciting period and a transformative time.”

First up… newspaper. What’s happening with printed media?

  • 152 newspaper outlets folded last year.
  • Bureaus at major daily newspapers, Minneapolis based Star Tribune included, shut down.
  • Gannett, Co., (, a leading media company with brands such as USA Today, KARE 11 News, and USA Weekend, cut 700 jobs-half of which were from newsrooms.

The biggest question kicking around is, “Is it financially viable to stay with print media?” David Coates, VOCUS managing editor, Magazine Content, thinks it is. As long as the media industry evolves and adapts quickly to the digital age.

  • There is more competition for hyperlocal (community oriented) news. In 2010 AOL’s (  launched 700 hyperlocal news sites (note to self: if you found this on, you are reading this on a hyperlocal news site!) While less than 100 sites launched in 2011, this shows AOL Patch is adjusting its model and consolidating its sites.
  • Newsrooms are getting “leaner and meaner”, with newswriters having more responsibility and less time to do things. The “ink stained wretch” (think Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore show), a term used nostagically by David Coates,VOCUS managing editor, Newspaper Content,  is being replaced by the “digital savvy geek”.
  • Other trends in the newspaper business is to use paywalls, an online device that bars internet users from accepting webpage content without a subscription, such as done by The Boston Globe and New York Times to generate income and ad dollars.

Next up…television trends. The team expert here is Julie Holley, VOCUS managing editor for TV/Blog/IRO Content.

  •  There is a huge interest in Spanish language stations, though additions have slowed due to market penetration.
  • Investigative reporting is making a comeback, due to the fact that television viewers are happy when dishonorable people are held accountable. (Think Denny Hecker, Tom Petters.)
  •  There is fierce competition out there to grab viewers’ attention, so TV has engaged with websites, social media, and other platforms.
  • Social media is especially helpful as a source for stories and interviews. Media outlets scour Facebook and Twitter to find interesting and unique people and topics to write about.

According to Rebecca Bredholt, VOCUS managing editor Magazine Content, magazine futures are bright.

  • More magazines launched than failed for the second year in a row.
  • Regional magazines make up the bulk of new start ups, but a few others such as Hispanic Retail 360, HGTV Magazine, and Lucky Peach (food related) were not the norm. America’s #1 obsession? Food…which then leads to wanting to read about how to lose weight.
  • Magazines are not just print products any more. They feature websites, blogs, applications, Facebook, Twitter pages and so on.
  • Only 50 on-line magazines launched in 2011. People who follow magazine brands on Twitter do not seem to be subscribing to print.
  • Content is still king when it comes to “tweeting” and traditional magazines provide that content.
  •  A trend to watch is the “marriage” of print and online media with online videos (TV).
  •  Consumers also have the option to pay for magazines on their tablets or iPads.

Did television kill the radio star?

Not necessarily, according to Kyle Johnson,  VOCUS managing editor of radio content.

  • The definition of radio is changing. It is no longer just  sound coming out of a box; it is a vehicle to promote digital channels.
  • There are streaming music services out there, but the Alan Burns & Associates ( “Here She Comes 2011” survey found 50-80% of women still enjoy a personality driven morning radio/talk show.
  • 84% of listeners still use radio in the car, 68% use CD players and 6% use Pandora (, an on line streaming music channel.
  • Last year, seven million new SmartPhones were activated and consumers are starting to listen to music through their cell phones inthe car.
  • The demise of radio has been predicted since the onset of television.
  • College radio stations are in a transitional period, as they are moving to the internet. Many have been sold off for cash.
  • Rivals Cumulus ( and Clear Channel ( a corner on the market, but even they have figured out ways to partner, especially in the advertising realm.
  • Did you know that Ford has a concept, hybrid car, Evos, ( that has an internet connected vehicle option? This will enable the driver to download their work schedule, turn in to the radio station they were listening to in the house,  analyze a.m. traffic patterns, shut the garage door and turn off the house light!

Radio will still be around because it continues to adapt and grow with technology.

So, there you have it. A snapshot of the state of media, 2012. Which trends will hold true?



Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.