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International: Impact of internet 'overstated', says Bailey

15-January-2007
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International: Impact of internet 'overstated', says Bailey

The internet's effect on newspaper advertising has been "overstated", according to the Trinity Mirror chief executive, Sly Bailey.

Ms Bailey told a business audience in Cardiff that the internet will sweep away old media companies but not Trinity Mirror, which publishes titles including the Daily and Sunday Mirror.

"There's no question that the internet represents an enormous challenge to our business models, as we face the twin threats of consumers accessing the web for news and entertainment and advertisers following the eyeballs," Ms Bailey said in a speech to the Cardiff Business Club, reported by the Trinity Mirror-owned Western Mail.

"I would argue, however, that the immediate impact of this trend on advertising has been somewhat overstated."

The chief executive again reiterated her belief that the current advertising downturn in newspapers was largely cyclical in nature and not a permanent structural change.

"We expect the cycle to move back into more positive territory. And we remain convinced that newspapers, as printed products, will remain a powerful medium for many years to come," Ms Bailey said, speaking last night.

"I don't wish to sound complacent ... we are not. But to focus solely on the threats, as opposed to the opportunities would be a huge mistake."

But she acknowledged that the massive uptake of broadband had remove old certainties.

"There's little doubt that some of the 'old media' companies will eventually be swept away with them," she said.

"However, Trinity Mirror doesn't intend to be one of them. How newspapers, TV companies, radio stations and magazine publishers respond to the digital challenge will determine whether, long term, they stand or fall."

Trinity Mirror is selling its sports division - publisher of the Racing Post - along with regional titles in the Midlands, London and south-east.

Ms Bailey said the company had spent £18m on presses in Wales and as a result some work had moved from England to Wales.

Source: MediaGuardian

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