Craigslist–Siphoning $50 mil a year from Bay area newspapers?

(Via ClickZ): Peter Zollman’s Classified Intelligence group has a new report that says Craigslist is responsible for Bay area newspapers losing $50-65 million in employment classifieds revenue alone.
Written by former San Francisco Chronicle/ SFGate digital media VP Bob Cauthorn, inventor of the highly-effective ” Hot Jobs” box running on various online newspapers, the report estimates that at the $700 charged by a paper, with 12,200 active job listings on CL’s San Francisco site the week of November 21, 2004, CL is taking ” north of $7 million to $8 million dollars, and probably closer to $10″ out of the Chron alone.
Cauthorn reportedly includes tips on how to get this money back in the package.
Susan says: It’s a coup for Zollman to have Cauthorn author this report–he’s a keen observer of the online classifieds market–but— Is it kosher for him to write so closely about his former employer?
Under fair trade laws, I’m sure it is–and yet I wouldn’t be surprised if the paper feels it’s a little too close for comfort–even as they plunk down the bucks to read the report.
Update: Have a preview of the report and take back my comment on ‘is this kosher?’It clearly is. –Cauthorn is not a “author” but the writer of a think piece–a very different scenario.
12/29–More clarifications: Got a note from Cauthorn worth sharing re the math in the ClickZ article.
He says:
* “the report estimates that at the $700 charged by a paper…”
Actually, the report doesn’t make a $700 estimate. That was a reporter’s
line in the ClickZnews piece based on an interview with me… I wasn’t
prepared to go into the nitty gritty of how that number was derived, but
I told her she can do a rough calculation this way: a typical classified
advertiser in the metro area will pay between between $400 and $700 to
advertis for a job, Craiglist has more than 3X the listings of all the
newspapers combined, ergo even if 30% are so price sensitive they
wouldn’t advertise if it cost more, you still easily get to the $65
million figure. (In point of fact, in the week I used for comparison, CL
only had about 2.4X the total listings that the newspapers had, but
generally — from endless tallies I’ve done — it’s more like 3.3X.)
Anyhow, there was no mention of an average price in the report, as it
suggests in the blog.
* “….CL is taking ” north of $7 million to $8 million dollars, and
probably closer to $10″ out of the Chron alone…” again, this is from
the ClickZnews piece. Actually, what I said was CL is taking $7 million
to $8 million, probably closer to $10 million out of this *market*.
Craigslist revenues Bay area revenues can be inferred by keeping count
of the number of paid listings and multiplying by $75. While there’s
some month-to-month variation, naturally, I keep a number of sample
months handy and hence the estimate. In any event, that figure is not
out of the Chron alone — it’s Craigslist total revenue.”