Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Business Journals Find Lucrative Niche

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Business Journals Find Lucrative Niche

Article excerpt

THE chroniclers of local economic news - business journals - have done surprisingly well the last few hard years.

Business journals are mostly weekly newspapers that serve only one community or metropolitan area. They usually cover just business news, steering away from weddings, obituaries, crime, etc. prominent in general community newspapers.

Many businessmen, especially local business suppliers, are placing advertising in these publications rather than in national newspapers or even local dailies.

Mike Cassidy, copublisher and co-editor of Wenatchee Business Journal in Wenatchee, Wash., says "daily newspapers are becoming what Sears was to retailing ... If you want sporting goods, you don't go to Sears, you go to Footlocker. It seems like niche publications are doing the same thing as specialty stores are doing to the big retailers."

In Wenatchee, a community of less than 50,000, Mr. Cassidy uses advertising as a measure of his paper's success: "In 1991, our ad sales were up 100 percent from 1990. In 1992 they were up 50 percent from 1991, and this year so far we're up 30 percent from 1992."

Business journals seem to have weathered the recession better than broader-based publications. Marcia Appel of the Association of Area Business Publications in Minneapolis, Minn., says: "Whenever you can target a niche, your audience will have a need for you when economic times change."

Indeed, the number of business journals has continued to grow during the recession and slow recovery. Ms. Appel's association has more than 75 member journals across the nation, but many more are not registered with her organization, she says. …

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