Friday, January 22, 2010

Newsroom downsizing

Rumors swirling around that Lippo-controlled publications (The Globe Magazine, The Jakarta Globe newspaper, and Suara Pembaruan) are downsizing their staffs. The Globe magazine and newspaper will merge their newsroom. At least 15 journalists have reportedly laid off. In the meantime, Tempo reported lower advertising revenue for both the magazine and newspaper.
Bigger layoff is reportedly going to happen at Suara Pembaruan evening paper, co-owned by Lippo Group and Edwin Soeryadjaya. About 90 staffs will have to find new job. Investor Group, also controlled by Lippo, will also see some of its marketing staffs laid off.
Print media has been struggling for years now. Financial reports of Tempo and Republika shown substantial decline in revenues from advertisements. The Tempo Magazine, for example, reported advertising revenue of Rp37 billion in nine months of 2009, dropped substantially by 14%. The Koran Tempo newspaper, meanwhile, reported smaller decline of 2% to Rp28.8 billion in the same period.
Income from circulation of magazines and newspaper were not significant enough to cover higher expenses. Tempo Media Group reported higher sales revenue of 9.4% in Jan-Sep 2009 mainly because of sales of non-media print materials (most likely ballot paper for the election cycles last year).
Bottom line? Tempo Media reported net profit of Rp1.66 billion, dropped 26% from the same period last year.
Abdi Bangsa, publisher of Republika and some magazines, reported lower sales revenue of 10% to Rp92.9 billion in 9 months of 2009, mainly because of almost 50% drop in ad + circulation revenues for magazines, while ad + circulation for newspaper increased only by 6.5%. Interestingly, income from Dotcom surged 117% to Rp3.99 billion. But with higher operating expenses, this publisher reported operating loss of Rp0.7 billion, crashed from operating profit of Rp9.7 billion in Jan-Sep 2008. Abdi Bangsa's net profit fell 77% accordingly.

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