Project #26204 - Case study

Case Study 


Susan Feinman is publisher of The Chronicle Gazette, a leading newspaper in a 

major metropolitan area. Her paper has a paid circulation of 225,000 customers. 

It is a first-rate newspaper and over the years, its writers have won awards for 

their work. 


Susan’s big problem is that there has been a steady decline in subscriptions to 

the newspaper. In the past eight years, subscriptions have fallen by a total of 

35%. Because subscriptions have fallen, advertising revenue has also dropped – 

by 28%. Susan knows that declining subscriptions and revenues are affecting the 

entire publishing industry. Even the great newspapers – such as the New York 

Times and Wall Street Journal – are facing subscription losses. 


The principal cause of The Chronicle Gazette’s problems is the rise of the 

Internet. With the Internet, people have access to an endless source of news 

stories – for free! A regular feature of Internet sites like Yahoo, MSNBC, Hotmail 

and CNN News is up-to-the-minute news accounts, often accompanied by video 

treatments of hot topics. When major stories break – such as the London terrorist 

bombings or the Sichuan earthquake – detailed accounts begin appearing on 

Wikipedia almost immediately, and videos show up on YouTube. Furthermore, by 

Googling topics, readers can explore interesting stories to whatever depth they 



Susan is worried that her newspaper will become the 21st

 century equivalent of 

buggy whip manufacturers. After several meetings with The Chronicle Gazette’s 

Executive Committee, Susan decides to hire a consultant to work through the 

strategic implications of the changing business environment. Hopefully, by 

looking at the problem from 40,000 feet, she and her managers can develop a 

better idea of the challenges the newspaper faces. Once these challenges – and 

their sources – are understood, the newspaper can develop strategies to deal 

with them. 


You have been hired as the consultant. Your job is to put together a consulting 

report of 10-15 pages (typed single spaced with 12 point font). The report’s goal 

is to offer the management of The Chronicle Gazette a strategic vision of where 

the newspaper publishing industry stands today and where it is headed over the 

next decade. You also need to propose strategies the newspaper can investigate 

to survive in the new business environment. Structure your presentation so that it 

can be used by Susan’s team as a roadmap to putting together a detailed 

strategic plan.

You have latitude in how you present your report. Following is an outline of an 

approach that would meet the requirements of this assignment. Feel free to 

adopt it or to pursue a different approach. 


1. Introduction – goals of the report 

2. State of the newspaper publishing industry today 

2.1. Data on declining circulation and revenue 

2.2. Status of newspaper leaders, e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal 

3. Why newspapers are facing declining circulations and revenues 

3.1. External assessment 

3.1.1. Economic forces 

3.1.2. Social, cultural, demographic, and environmental forces 

3.1.3. Political, governmental and legal forces 

3.1.4. Technological forces 

3.1.5. Competitive forces (e.g., Porter’s model) 

3.1.6. External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrix 

4. Internal assessment 

4.1. Organizational processes and structure 

4.2. HR capabilities 

4.3. Financial position 

4.4. Marketing/sales capabilities 

4.5. Operational capabilities (e.g., How efficient are we? How effectively are 

we adopting new technologies?) 

4.6. Our strengths and weaknesses as a publisher 

5. How companies in the publishing industry are adjusting their strategies to 

cope with the challenges (provide at least three examples) 

6. Steps The Chronicle Gazette might take in order to deal with the challenges 

6.1. Short-term steps 

6.2. Long-term steps 


Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 04/30/2014 12:00 am
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