Newspaper Obituary

I don't get the newspaper.

1) I don't like the black ink.
2) It makes me sneeze, allergic
3) I hate the waste, the landfills, the trees

Just last month Devin Leonard, senior writer at Fortune wrote:

Harbinger of things to come in the news business?

This was my response to Mr. Leonard:

If The New York Times, one of the best brand names in the business (along with The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times) can't make a go of it, what is the point?

What is the business model that works?

What could two or three board seats do?

Look at papers like
Sun-Times Media Group Inc (SVN), down 93%, and Journal Register Co (JRCO), down 98%, over the past five years.

They need a business model that works. The Albuquerque Tribune, here where I live, just pulled the plug and packed it up.

I personally don't read the newspaper because of allergies and the waste they create.

Is changing the board just a shuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Owning a TV station in another city doesn't make sense to me (Sun-Times Media does. UPDATE: They have started selling off those stations.) There is no cross-marketing/cross selling. You must DRIVE people to the paper/website.

About the only thing that I can think of is for a newspaper to own a TV station and radio station and use them to do briefs of story's, and if you want a more comprehensive story you must either buy the paper or buy an online subscriptions, but you must have all four. Also, you combine advertising with a customer (selling them a TV ad, radio ad, Newspaper ad, and online ad all in one-tied ads) and tell the TV/radio viewer/listener that to get a coupon they have to get the paper. There HAS to be a reason to either get the paper or pay online. What is that reason. A single market vertical approach.


Another idea would be that Kindle from Amazon (without the stupid laugh of Jeff Bezos). If they could reach critical mass, and get the price point down. A well run newspaper might give or lease you the device for very low cost and then get you to pay a monthly subscription fee. But, this will be tough because the end user wants flexibility.

Another factor that will hurt newspapers is the rising cost of fuel.

You could also see a decoupling between printing and content. You would have a statewide, nationwide or global company (s) that prints many papers, from different content providers, at local printing plants. If you didn't truck the papers all over the state, maybe you could cut back on fuel cost. In small towns, these would be new digital cutting-edge micro presses, for small runs and the ability for quick change. One printing outlet could print 20 different newspapers in a day.

Bottom line, it is a tough road to hoe. And as the Baby Boomers go, so goes the traditional newspaper business.

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