Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish outlines state of “my Star”

Former Star staffer Jim Fitzpatrick, who blogs at JimmyC Says, attended an event where new Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish gave her thoughts on the paper and its future. He gives an ebullient review of her remarks, noting that she called the paper “my Star.” (Note: I’ve always thought “Our Star” would be a great marketing ploy, playing at the rhyme, but also the shared sense of community that a newspaper and its readers should have.)

Fitz’s key takeaways? Read on…

“When people ask me, ‘Why should I care about the newspaper?’ I say, ‘If you value democracy, you damn well better.’ “

After the prepared speech, however — when she began taking questions — she showed another, more open side of herself.

Among other things, she said that:

:: The Star remains profitable. (Reassuring, for sure.)

:: We were seeing the “infancy” of the new Star model develop before our eyes. (Put that way, it sounded a lot more interesting than what gadgets we might be using to access the paper.)

:: Printed newspapers would be around “for many, many, many, many years.” (Encouraging to me and, I’m sure, many other dead-tree devotees.)

:: The Star generates about 85 percent of its revenue from advertising and 15 percent from circulation. Before the precipitous decline of the newspaper industry, starting in 2005, ad revenue accounted for about 90 percent of revenue, she said. (As surely as Obama is going to kick Romney to the curb, the percentage of revenue from circulation must continue to rise.)

:: Even at $1 a copy on newsstands, the daily Star remains a bargain. (Probably true.)

I thought the 85/15 split was interesting, but I’m not sure what other papers are seeing in terms of ad revenue. Any insight, dear reader?


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