Italy's 15-year media revolution

How television affected the press

Roberto Roseano and Marina Stella

In 1975 the Italian press media (and therefore total adspend) looked set for modest revenue growth. TV advertising was more or less rationed - a few slots in an oppressive state monopoly. Then the private TV genie escaped from its regulatory bottle, vastly expanding airtime availability. The outlook for print ad revenues altered horrifyingly. In the event its effects, if complex, were almost entirely to the advantage of the press. Total Italian adspend surged exponentially, largely into TV, but significantly into print as well. If press revenue share declined, its growth exceeded the most optimistic forecasts. This paper chronicles these events and other ways in which press has benefited from the new competition over the years: new editorial opportunities, titles and other products, new press/TV promotional opportunities, and major changes in the ways print sells itself.