Lost Ads — Including Real Estate —
Hasten Local Paper’s Demise

The Star Tribune is not the first major city newspaper to file for bankruptcy (last Thursday, 11 p.m.), and it certainly won’t be the last. Like the Tribune Company before it, its demise was hastened by, roughly in order of significance: 1) way too much debt, piled on by the most recent buyer; 2) the continuing advertising shift to the Internet; and 3) the recession’s effect on advertising generally.

In what rates as a small footnote, the paper’s demise was foreshadowed by Edina Realty’s decision two years ago to slash its print advertising budget, and instead focus its resources on http://www.edinarealty.com/

At the time, the move was criticized by some as unwise penny-pinching, and as weakening the company’s market presence. However, virtually every Twin Cities broker quickly did the same.

Multiply those actions one hundred-fold (or one-thousand), and it’s not surprising to see the company — and the newspaper business generally — in deep, deep trouble . . .

P.S.: the obvious parallel to the “horseless carriage” is the “newspaper-less,” but for some reason the latter term never caught on.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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