Friday, December 12, 2008

bad day for detroit

On top of everything else, the WSJ is reporting that the Detroit Free Press and its partner paper, The Detroit News, may stop home delivery everyday but Thursday, Friday and Saturday. An abbreviated print edition would be available at newsstands on the other days. Readers would be directed to an expanded digital version.

The Free Press is owned by Gannett. The News, by MediaNews. Possibly the shape of things to come in other cities across the nation? I get it that saving paper and delivery costs would save money for a strapped news org. But not sure it would necessarily build an audience for the paper's website. For example, if you were to go directly online to read the paper while you eat your Cheerios, with all the options out there, would you really log onto the hometown press for anything other than a quick hit of local stories? Don't think I would.

From the article:

"The Free Press and News would be the first dailies in a major metropolitan market to curtail home delivery and drastically scale back the print edition. More newspapers are contemplating similar moves as the erosion of advertising and rising costs of print and delivery have brought publishers to their knees. In October, the Christian Science Monitor said it will stop printing a daily newspaper in April and move instead to an online version with a weekly print product.

Newspaper groups have taken drastic steps lately to align costs with shrinking revenues, including massive staff cuts as well as efforts to consolidate functions through partnerships like the JOA in Detroit. As many of those measures have proven insufficient, publishers have taken a harder look at shifting away from print or abandoning it altogether to save on printing and distribution."

1 comment:

geewhy said...

Most people are reading the paper edition for movie listings at this point. Why not just go online? I just think we need to resign ourselves to getting the things that used to be in one daily newspaper from various online sources in the future. Let's just hope there's some way to preserve investigative or "real" reporting. Of course, a lot of daily papers have been doing a lousy job at that for decades, especially the smaller ones. This economic and readership slide began before the internet. The web just sped up the process.