Media guru Harold Mitchell: newspapers can survive in ‘world’s best ad market’

The veteran media buyer, who serves as executive chairman of Aegis Media Pacific, told the Australian Financial Review that print could still be profitable if it could quickly adapt to the changing way in which people consumed media.

"The new digital world means the way we place regular media has to change. You have to integrate [the advertising]," he said.

"Print media is going to be very different. If I was a newspaper publisher, I would be happy because at least they have content. It’s about content. If they are smart enough, and they are, they will adapt."

[Related: Murdoch predicts newspapers' demise]

Mitchell said there would be a post-election increase in the total of ad sales across all media channels due to a rise in confidence.

He also said Australia had "the highest per capita advertising spend in the world". "We in Australia are in a very good place but we lack confidence."

Meanwhile, the Standard Media Index for the month of June 2013 showed a 1.8% year-on-year rise in advertising sales to $638.7 million, mainly due to a 111% increase in government spend ahead of the election, according to Mumbrella.

However, most of that government spend was directed towards television, radio and the internet rather than print.

Newspaper sales fell 20.3% to $458.2 million and magazines fell 22.5% to $141.1 million.

[LinkedIn: Was Murdoch right to say newspapers are dying?]

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