Newspapers’ Decline Will Impact BC Severely

deloitteI attended Duncan Stewart’s roadshow presentation of Deloitte’s Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2009. While there wasn’t much that was especially surprising for anyone that closely follows these sectors, the decline of the newspaper industry is worth noting:

The need for new business approaches has become increasingly apparent. While publishers have reacted, this has not always been at a sufficient pace. Given this context, up to one out of every ten print publications could be obliged either to reduce print frequency, cease physical printing or, in some cases, shut down entirely in 2009.

Duncan made an interesting point by connecting the decline of newspapers to BC’s pulp and paper industry. In short: failing newspapers is bad for BC. When you look BC’s reliance on the forestry industry, it’s pretty clear why:

  • The forest industry accounts for at least 15 percent of the province’s economy.
  • Direct 2006 forest industry activity totaled $10 billion, representing 29 percent of good producing industry GDP and 7.4 percent of total provincial GDP.
  • Forestry activity contributes approximately $17 billion to the province’s gross domestic product (GDP).
  • In 2006, forest products made up 41 percent of all B.C. exports, with a value of roughly $13.6 billion a year.
  • 90 percent of BC lumber exports and 71 percent of pulp and paper products are exported to the United States.

John Diack, former CEO of Circon Systems, put the magnitude of the problem in perspective for me – the Los Angeles Times newspaper uses approximately one-half of the pulp and paper output of the entire town of Port Alberni. Ouch.

Top Five Unsexy Things About Yaletown

I came across a ridiculous piece of news via the ever-amusing condohype blog: Yaletown is being dubbed the “sexiest neighbourhood” in Canada. Really? I can think of at least five reasons that this isn’t the case (and yes, I’m channeling Nick Horby’s Rob Gordon here):

  1. Pretentious: Tiny dogs, overpriced restaurants, snotty attitudes, and waiters and hairdressers who seem to think they’re &*%$ing James Bond (where I’m using “&*%$ing” as both an adjective and a verb). Turned on yet?
  2. Costly: Given the cost per square foot of housing in Yaletown, you might end up doing it in the street. But maybe that’s “up your alley”, so to speak.
  3. Smelly: Garbage dumpsters in the street. Mmm. Sexy.
  4. Annoying: 1 way streets, no parking. This has no connection to sex – it’s just a bloody pain in the ass.
  5. Cramped: When all else fails and you can’t get laid, there’s always the Internet. Except your wireless router keeps cutting out due to interference from your eight adjacent neighbours’ own wifi networks. Guess you’ll have to exercise your imagination (and no, that’s not a euphenism).

Have I missed any? Shall we try for a Top Ten? Add yours in the comments.

Now, in the interest of disclosure, I have to say that I lived in Yaletown for three years – not because I was sexy, but rather because I was lazy. The location allowed me at one point to walk across the street to work. I have since recovered, and now live in Cambie Village.