MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette

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  • MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette
  • MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette
  • MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette
  • MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette
  • MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette
  • MGT 195 Strategic Planning at the Chronicle Gazette
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Susan Feinman is publisher of The Chronicle Gazette, a leading newspaper in a

major metropolitan area. Her paper has a paid circulation of 225,000 customers.

It is a first-rate newspaper and over the years, its writers have won awards for

their work.

Susans big problem is that there has been a steady decline in subscriptions to

the newspaper. In the past eight years, subscriptions have fallen by a total of

35%. Because subscriptions have fallen, advertising revenue has also dropped

by 28%. Susan knows that declining subscriptions and revenues are affecting the

entire publishing industry. Even the great newspapers such as the New York

Times and Wall Street Journal are facing subscription losses.

The principal cause of The Chronicle Gazettes problems is the rise of the

Internet. With the Internet, people have access to an endless source of news

stories for free! A regular feature of Internet sites like Yahoo, MSNBC, Hotmail

and CNN News is up-to-the-minute news accounts, often accompanied by video

treatments of hot topics. When major stories break such as the London terrorist

bombings or the Sichuan earthquake detailed accounts begin appearing on

Wikipedia almost immediately, and videos show up on YouTube. Furthermore, by

Googling topics, readers can explore interesting stories to whatever depth they


Susan is worried that her newspaper will become the 21st century equivalent of

buggy whip manufacturers. After several meetings with The Chronicle Gazettes

Executive Committee, Susan decides to hire a consultant to work through the

strategic implications of the changing business environment. Hopefully, by

looking at the problem from 40,000 feet, she and her managers can develop a

better idea of the challenges the newspaper faces. Once these challenges and

their sources are understood, the newspaper can develop strategies to deal

with them.

You have been hired as the consultant. Your job is to put together a consulting

report of 12-15 pages (typed single spaced with 12 point font). The reports goal

is to offer the management of The Chronicle Gazette a strategic vision of where

the newspaper publishing industry stands today and where it is headed over the

next decade. You also need to propose strategies the newspaper can investigate

to survive in the new business environment. Structure your presentation so that it

can be used by Susans team as a roadmap to putting together a detailed

strategic plan.

You have latitude in how you present your report. Following is an outline of an

approach that would meet the requirements of this assignment. Feel free to

adopt it or to pursue a different approach.

  1. Introduction goals of the report

  2. State of the newspaper publishing industry today

2.1. Data on declining circulation and revenue

2.2. Status of newspaper leaders, e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal

  1. Why newspapers are facing declining circulations and revenues

3.1. External assessment

3.1.1. Economic forces

3.1.2. Social, cultural, demographic, and environmental forces

3.1.3. Political, governmental and legal forces

3.1.4. Technological forces

3.1.5. Competitive forces (e.g., Porters model)

3.1.6. External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrix

  1. Internal assessment

4.1. Organizational processes and structure

4.2. HR capabilities

4.3. Financial position

4.4. Marketing/sales capabilities

4.5. Operational capabilities (e.g., How efficient are we? How effectively are

we adopting new technologies?)

4.6. Our strengths and weaknesses as a publisher

  1. How companies in the publishing industry are adjusting their strategies to

cope with the challenges (provide at least three examples)

  1. Steps The Chronicle Gazette might take in order to deal with the challenges

6.1. Short-term steps

6.2. Long-term steps


How Your Report Will Be Assessed

The Chronicle Gazette is facing deep trouble. If Susan and her team do not

respond effectively to the challenges the newspaper faces, it is likely the

newspaper will be shut down.

The survival of The Chronicle Gazette will depend on a dramatic re-thinking of

what it is and how it should operate. Band-aid solutions wont work. Survival will

require creative ideas. Your consulting report should reflect creative thinking.

While you have latitude in determining the details of how you present your report,

ultimately, you will be graded on the following factors. So in writing your

consulting report, write it in such a way as to get high ratings for the questions

listed below.

How well-formulated is the consultants assessment of the state of the

publishing industry today, particularly newspaper publishing?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

How thorough is the consultants review of external factors that bear on the

business (e.g., economic, political, governmental, and social forces)?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

To what extent does the consultants report reflect a creative and dramatic

approach to dealing with the newspapers future direction?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

To what extent has the consultant logically linked The Chronicle Gazettes

current state (internal factors) with the proposed strategic direction the

business should follow?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

How realistic are the consultants recommendations?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

How logical and well-reasoned are the consultants points?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

Overall, how well does the report hang together?

Weak 1 2 3 4 5 Strong

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