As the newspaper industry—and print media in general—struggle to survive in the age of digital news, the business has found an unlikely ally: the nation's gravest housing crisis in recent memory.
While newspaper executives have for years complained that online resources—like Craigslist—are cutting deep into their classified advertisement revenue, the foreclosure crisis has created a much-needed revenue stream for at least one struggling newspaper.
From the Washington City Paper:
Foreclosure notices are filling in where condo sales and auto deals once held sway. "There are definitely more than we've ever seen," says Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association. "I've been in the business 30 years." Here's what Stanley's talking about: On March 13, the Washington Post's classifieds section totaled 22 pages, approximately 14 of which were devoted to what are technically known as "trustee's sales."
It turns out that local governments require foreclosure sale notices to be placed in "local newspapers with broad distribution." Listings on Craigslist do not satisfy those requirements, the City Paper reports.
Unfortunately, perhaps, for newspapers, the housing crisis will eventually come to an end, but the competitive pressures that are killing their profit margins will remain.