Complete Unit 1.docx - Complete Unit 1 SWOT matrix is an...

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Complete Unit 1 SWOT matrix) is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats In Unit One we begin with Case 1 USA Today which includes you completing a SWOT Analysis… We then have Case 2: Mattel… As the entire newspaper industry sits on the brink of collapse, Gannett and USA Today work to avoid disaster and transform the nation’s most read newspaper into tomorrow’s best resource for news and information. In the face of continual competition across a variety of media sources, the future of USA Today depends on its ability to continually push the envelope of innovation and offer value-added, proprietary content to ensure continued differentiation and the future of the USA Today brand. What opportunities and challenges in today’s economy have affected and are still affecting USA Today? USA Today was the creative idea of Allen Neuharth who was, at that time, the Chairman of Gannett Co., Inc. The first edition of USA Today, which comprised of 155,000 copies, was launched in September 1982 (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Mr. Neuharth developed USA Today to focus on two distinct groups of readers; those with short attention spans who had chiefly grown up watching television, and those users who desired information but were pressed for time to read longer articles (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Mr. Neuharth designed the paper to be colorful and eye-catching (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Articles were brief and to the point, and the paper consisted of four sections which were Money, Life, News, and Sports (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). USA Today was not the “typical” newspaper and therefore was the subject of much criticism (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Much of the criticism was directed to the gimmicky style of the newspaper, specifically the color, the graphics, the casual writing style, boxes and charts, and the overload of statistics (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). However, despite the criticism, USA Today filled a need, especially among business travelers or those who want the news, but are in too much of a hurry to leisurely read a newspaper (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). In fact, critics nicknamed the USA Today the “McPaper” for its lack of serious journalism and non-traditional writing style (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014).
In spite of all the criticism, the USA Today far surpassed Mr. Neuharth’s initial expectations, achieving 1.4 million in circulation by 1985 (Ludlow, 1986). Although overly optimistic as to when the USA Today would become profitable, the newspaper did attain profitability by 1993 and doubled its profits a year later (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Among the major issues facing USA Today is facing are the higher cost of newsprint, an inconsistent and unpredictable advertising environment, declining circulation, and the technological advances that make it possible for readers to access information online (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Further, the “older generation” that prefers reading an actual newspaper are dying off leaving the baby boomers, and millennials, who have grown up with more access to

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