9 thoughts on “Off Topic: Trouble Rocks Major Newspapers”

  1. That’s good news – the American newspaper model is broken, but won’t change until forced to…well, it looks like change is here — get people interested again, or go out of business.

  2. So if a local newspaper in a non-competitive market goes under, what do you think will happen? In Austin there’s only one paper. It’s not a good one, but if provides better coverage of the city than any web site or TV news station.

    I imagine a competitor would come in and at least try to create a web-based newspaper for the city, but web advertising still can’t pull in the money that people foolishly spend on print advertising. Car dealers and mom & pops still don’t get the web. I can’t see a web-only city paper being able to keep qualified people on staff at reasonable salaries and make the economics work…but there has to be an opportunity in the fall out.

    Again, I’m talking about local city news and not something that can be covered by a blog like this.

  3. Sam Zell’s interview in Portfolio Magazine (it’s available online) is pretty interesting. He mentioned that Tribune ad sales staff were not paid for performance, said he didn’t give a rip about Pulitzers and planned to focus on local info, since international, financial and other news was better online or on TV. He came across as somehow arrogant, humbled and confused, all at the same time.

    It sounds like Tribune’s properties would make money (for a while, anyway) if their debt was cut or wiped out.

  4. To add to the mess, most local papers – the ones that should be able to thrive and really monetize – are being all but ignored by most mass media publishers. I believe hyper-local to be one of their only saving graces. Give people – in the their local communities – the news that’s important to them. Let them share that news, upload it, update it, comment, etc… These major companies are all-but ignoring their local paper properties to try and save the big, national brands. That strategy will further choke them in the long run.

  5. None of this surprises me really…newspapers have been struggling for years now. I’ve predicted the end of most newspapers as we know them within 50 years (it will all move online), but heck, it may be even sooner.

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