The Yellow Pages Bankruptcies 2011: Financial Crisis

The yellow pages industry has been rocked by economic woes since 2009 when three publishers—Ambassador Media, Idearc Media (now SuperMedia) and R.H. Donnelley (now Dex One)—and one key supplier—Quebecor World (now Quad/Graphics—filed for bankruptcy protection. The economic problems claimed another publisher in late 2010 when Local Insight, the fifth largest publisher in the U.S., followed suit.

Since those dark economic days many companies have been reorganized, reinvented and renamed as they scrambled to move away from print and into the online world.

Many considered the bankruptcies as a sign of the collapse of yellow pages print industry brought on by the Internet while others look to the internal operations of companies, which often resulting in the entrance to executive offices becoming revolving doors.

The Yellow Pages Bankruptcies 2011: Financial Crisis takes an in-depth look at the actions behind the scenes that led to bankruptcy court, chronicles their progress to date and projects where the companies and the entire industry—both independent and incumbent—are likely to find themselves in the future.

Highlights of The Yellow Pages Bankruptcies 2011: Financial Crisis include:

  • The cases behind the financial collapse of Ambassador, Idearc, R.H. Donnelley, Quebecor World and Local Insight.
  • The likely fate of the remaining mega publishers: AT&T, Yellowbook and Yellow Pages Group;
  • The impact on CMRs and suppliers;
  • Delivering yellow pages information through print vs online or mobile;
  • The keen competition to print the yellow pages heightens with Quad/Graphs and R.R. Donnelley vying for their business;
  • A look at the industry’s competition—both print and electronic;
  • A segment by segment breakdown of the industry.

Company profiles of the leading Yellow Pages publishers include:

  • Ambassador
  • AT&T
  • Dex One
  • Local Insight Media
  • Quad/Graphics
  • SuperMedia
  • User-Friendly Media
  • Yell Group
  • Zip Local

Stamford, CT - August 2, 2011 - As directory publishers advance through the financial crisis that shook the yellow pages industry, challenges remain in the move toward a digital future, which is expected to churn out 2.5% revenue growth by 2013. A recent report by media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information notes the health of the industry is contingent on its evolution from print to digital.

According to Simba, financial challenges are significant for publishers Ambassador Media, Dex One and SuperMedia, who have recently emerged from bankruptcy even after shaving off a large chunk of their debt. The same is true for Local Insight Media, which went into bankruptcy court in late 2010, and its affiliate Caribe Media, which filed in May 2011. After consolidating their print directories and cutting down costs, the publishers are now facing difficulties in expanding onto a digital platform, the report asserts.

"There's a lot of debt out there from borrowing over the past decade or more to fuel expansion," said Dave Goddard, Simba's senior yellow pages analyst. "Because so much money is being spent on repaying debt, it's difficult to support an investment in the transition from print to online without borrowing, and few can borrow today."

Although the industry is expected to decline slightly through 2012, it will post revenue growth of 2.5% in 2013, rounding off the industry at $12.7 billion. Yell Group ranks among publishers exciting the industry turn-around by leading the digital transformation. They are aiming to change their model to 75% online operations and 25% print by 2015. According to the report, industry growth is contingent on publishers expansion of internet advertising and services.

"The demise of the yellow pages industry is not imminent, but the evolution of the industry from print to digital is definitely going to happen and at varying speeds," added Goddard. "Most of the remaining publishers are relatively strong and can adjust to the new technologies that will carry them forward into the digital world, while still making a profit from the shrinking print."

Simba Information's report, The Yellow Pages Bankruptcies 2011: Financial Crisis, delivers an industry-wide perspective on how publishers and suppliers have emerged after bankruptcy and where the industry will evolve to survive in the future. Along with revenue projections, the report provides company profiles and status updates for Ambassador Media, AT&T, Dex One, Local Insight Media, Quad/Graphics, SuperMedia, User-Friendly Media, Yell Group, and Zip Local.

  • Methodology
  • The Yellow Pages Bankruptcies 2011: Financial Crisis
    • Introduction
      • Table Yellow Pages Revenue Growth by Publisher Category, 1996-2013P ($ in millions)
      • Table RBOC Yellow Pages Revenue, 2008-2011P ($ in millions)
      • Table RBOC Revenue Change, 2000-2010
    • The Financial Challenges
      • Ambassador Media
        • Table Statistical Summary of the Yellow Pages Industry, 2005-2010
      • Dex One (formerly R.H. Donnelley)
      • Local Insight Media
      • Quad/Graphics (formerly Worldcolor)
      • SuperMedia (formerly Idearc Media)
    • Other Publishers with Financial Investors
      • AT&T Advertising Solutions
      • User Friendly Media (formerly User-Friendly Phone Book)
      • Yell Group
      • Ziplocal (formerly Phone Directories Co.)
    • Industry Progress, Growth and Usage
    • Total Advertising and Yellow Pages Advertising
      • Table Revenue Growth in All U.S. Advertising Media, 2008-2011P ($ in millions)
    • Industry Trends and Analysis
      • Table Yellow Pages' Share Of U.S. Advertising 2000-2011P ($ in millions)
      • Increased Competition Leads to Discontinued Directories
      • SuperMedia
      • AT&T
      • Dex One
      • LocalEdge
        • Table Yellow Pages References, 2008-2015P (References in billions)
      • Usage Numbers-One Third Attributed to IYP
        • Table YP References, top 10 Headings, Print & Internet, '09-'10 (References in millions)
      • YP, Search Engines Top Other Media in Local Search
        • Table Local Media Search Usage
    • Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures Decline
    • The environmental battle heads to the courtroom
      • The Seattle and San Francisco Ordinances
      • YP Industry versus Seattle
        • Table Seattle's Environmental Ordinance
      • YP Industry versus San Francisco
        • Table San Francisco's Environmental Ordinance
        • Table Nondurable Goods Generated in Municipal Waste Stream, 1990-2009 (Thousands of tons and percent of total generation)
      • Directory Recycling and the Waste Stream
        • Table Nondurable Goods Discarded in Municipal Waste Stream, 1990-2009 (Thousands of tons and percent of total generation)
    • Leading Certified Marketing Representatives (CMRs)
      • TMP Directional Marketing
        • Table Selected Largest Certified Marketing Representatives by Revenue, 2006-2010 (Billings in $ millions)
      • Wahlstrom Group
      • The Berry Co.
      • Ketchum Directory Advertising
    • Market for Printers and Suppliers
      • Table Summary of Leading Directory Printers, Major Customers and Print Runs, 2008-2010
    • Directory Unit Production by Publisher
    • Leading Directory Printers
      • R.R. Donnelley
      • Quad/Graphics
        • Table Capacity and Consumption, Uncoated Groundwood Paper, 2009-2010 (in thousands of metric tons)
    • Paper Consumption by Directory Publishers
    • The Pre-Media Market
      • Amdocs
        • Table U.S. Demand for Directory Paper, 2009-2010 (in thousands of metric tons)
        • Table Outlays for Printing, Paper, Other Production and Distribution; Directory Publishing Industry, 2006-2010 ($ in millions)
    • Forecast and Conclusions
  • Profiles of Leading Yellow Pages Publishers and Suppliers
    • Ambassador Media Group
      • Table At a Glance: Ambassador Media Group
    • AT&T Communications
      • Table At a Glance: AT&T Communications
      • Table AT&T's Discontinued Directories
    • Dex One (Formerly R.H. Donnelley)
      • Table At a Glance: Dex One
      • Table Dex One's Discontinued Directories, 2010
    • Local Insight Media
      • Table At a Glance: Local Insight Media
      • Table Financial Size of Selected Local Insight Acquisitions, 2006-2008 ($ in millions)
    • Quad/Graphics (Worldcolor)
      • Table At a Glance: Quad/Graphics
    • SuperMedia (Formerly Idearc Media)
      • Table At a Glance: SuperMedia
      • Table SuperMedia's Discontinued Directories
    • User-Friendly Media (Formerly User-Friendly Phone Book)
      • Table At a Glance: User-Friendly Media
    • Yell Group
      • Table At a Glance: Yellowbook
      • Table Financial Size of Selected Yellowbook Acquisitions, 1999-2009 ($ in millions)
    • Ziplocal (Formerly Phone Directories Co.)
      • Table At a Glance: Ziplocal

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