Blogger: GCI’s digital accounting ‘hard to gauge’

Ken Doctor at Content Bridges shares my interest in how GCI reports digital revenue. “Joining a trend among its smaller brethren, Gannett told analysts last week that it will now be reporting quarterly rather than monthly,” Ken writes today. “It’s not a big surprise, as other news companies have made that change as well. What’s most interesting about it is how hard it is to gauge print companies’ progress to digital, which is of course the key metric telling analysts, journalists and small-d democrats what the chances of their survival are.”

Here’s the challenge in booking digital ad revenue, my readers say. Suppose ad salesman Jim Hussein (hah!) Hopkins at the Daily Bugle sells a $2,500 online-print advertising package to Betty’s Curl-up and Dye Beauty Parlor. The package includes display ads in print, plus banner ads and a video pre-roll online.

Now, how does the Bugle book that package? An advertising director trying to please his regional publisher would be tempted to say it’s $2,500 in digital revenue. But a more scrupulous director might divvy up the amount proportionately, based on the rate card. In other words, my readers say, Gannett’s accounting for digital/print revenue can be inconsistent at best, and downright deceptive at worst.

How does this accounting work at your shop? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.


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