USA Today hails iPad in fight against circulation drop
America's biggest newspaper publisher hailed the iPad as a 'real positive' for its flagship newspaper, USA Today, as it fights to counter a drop in the paper's circulation.
Publishing group Gannett, which is also the largest owner of local newspapers in the US, has radically restructured USA Today as it cuts costs and tries to dedicate more resource to the production and distribution of news digitally.
The reorganisation saw 130 jobs at the newspaper go in August.
"The iPad had been a real positive for USA Today," Gracia Martore, Gannett's chief operating officer, said on Monday. "We expect this will translate into a much more significant improvement," regarding revenues, she added.
The iPad, the latest product from Apple, has been seen by some publishers as a device capable of reproducing the pleasure of reading a newspaper while still being able to deliver updated content to the reader.
The app for USA Today, which relinquished its status as the country's most-read national paper to The Wall Street Journal, has had more than 1.4 million downloads since it was started in April.
Gannett has depended on advertising to generate revenue from the app but the company refused to rule out charging. "We're looking across the board at this," said Craig Dubow, Gannet's chief executive.
Gannett and rival publishers will be watching closely when the New York Times begins charging frequent users to its website later this month.
Though Gannett saw profits in the final three months of the year climb 30pc to $174.4m, cost cuts accounted for much of it. Advertising revenues fell almost 6pc to just over $722m in the quarter.