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Old 02-27-2009, 01:48 PM   #15
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The problem for newspapers and probably magazines is that the web generates far less money in advertising that print does, so the quality of coverage has to be far less in the long run. The internet side of papers has been very unsuccessful at getting people to pay for the news. And it's hard to read everything I want to read. I can go through the pages of a paper and see what I want to read (unfortunately most of it, which takes a lot of time), but getting all those stories, even with broadband, on the internet is relatively slow, I can't read my laptop in the car, on the throne, while eating, while watching TV, at least not efficiently.

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Old 02-27-2009, 02:11 PM   #16
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"I've been watching newspapers disappear for a generation and I think as a nation we are weaker for it."

I disagree. We now have more access to information at lower cost than we ever have before. Some outlets (like one of my favorites, The Onion,) are doing, well. There are also many free daily and weekly newspapers popping up throughout the country as technology advances in desktop publishing and printing have made the barriers to entry far lower. The transactional costs related to information exchange like Craigslist have provided profound benefits for a wide range of people.

Newspaper nostalgia is like train nostalgia or general store nostalgia.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:51 PM   #17
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This essay appeared today... quite timely.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:52 PM   #18
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When something is free, it's usually worth exactly what you pay for it! The only online money makers are the WSJ and porn sites. I suspect that CrawfordGene might lump both of them in the same boat.

The Durango Herald is still locally owned and the full edition is online for route subscribers or web subscribers. The online freebie Herald is a a couple of headlines and some local sports scores.

It's interesting to note that several more papers like the SF Examiner, SD Union and the NYTimes are in trouble. The common thread that seems to be running through the closures is the fact that almost all of them endorsed Obama, so they should be inline for bailout money!
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:05 PM   #19
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.... so they should be inline for bailout money!
Little bitter are we..
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:15 PM   #20
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The only online money makers are the WSJ and porn sites.
It's interesting to note that several more papers like the SF Examiner, SD Union and the NYTimes are in trouble.
There's plenty of free porn, but I suppose porn makes money because things that are considered immoral, always make a lot of money. Maybe the WSJ OpEd pages are immoral and that's why it has print + online subscribers of about 2M. The WSJ website was never free. Other papers made the mistake of starting their websites free and once there, you can't go back. The WSJ has a specialty audience which theoretically has more money than most to subscribe to the internet edition, though that may no longer be true. Newscorp lost a bundle last year—Murdoch paid too much for the WSJ and his NY Post continues to lose lots like it always has.

Like a lot of businesses, some newspapers loaded on debt and now have to pay it off. The Tribune papers—Chicago Tribune and LA Times are the best known—have staggering debt and are in bankruptcy. The NY Times is still profitable, but has short term debt due this year which they may have trouble refinancing and they are working hard to refinance and are fairly likely to work it out.

There are a lot of companies with short term debt problems and if credit isn't available soon, a whole lot of them will crumble and then you will know what the Great Depression was like. But this time, going to California is not a good option.

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Old 02-27-2009, 08:04 PM   #21
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Aside from dwindling ad revenue for print, add a terrible economy.

This problem began long ago when, for some odd reason, newspapers and media gave away their product for free. I think the logic was no one would pay for something on this thing called the internet. The mantra became free or cheap.

To this day the only paper that I know of that charges a fee for the full online version of their new is the Wall Street Journal. Still you can see most of their stories free too.

I have found through my own business experiences that if you give a service or product to someone for free, thinking "yeah, we will eventually start charging or raise our rates", your are just fooling yourself. It just doesn't happen.

If companies are going to stay in business, they have to make money. There's still demand for good news and information, but it is changing formats. I personaly like being able to sit in a chair with a hard copy of a newspaper or magazine.

There are thousands of specialty forums like this one that I'm willing to bet if the owners said we are now going to charge $10 a year subscription, most of us would pay that, because we like this place, and where else would you find such incredible information from every corner of the world. (I may have opened a can of worms).

But then again, you have to think about the cost of running a business: running servers, maintainence, back up etc.

There is no crime in making money, but for some reason the world is of the mindset that if we give it away at first, then we will make money. You will run out of operating capital before that happens.

Jonathan
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:11 PM   #22
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Cold heart

I guess I am cold hearted.BUT
I am sure glade the government did not use our tax $$$ to bail them out.
Now maybe the Denver post will make it.
Remember only the strong survive.UNLESS the government interferes.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:30 PM   #23
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The reality is that newspapers have enjoyed a very successful business model that as of 2005 was generating profit margins of 20 percent, double that of other other Fortune 500 businesses. And like many businesses (*cough* automakers *cough*) they made some lousy decisions. They became management heavy, burdened by onerous union contracts and they were slow adaptors to the new media. And like all businesses that make lousy decisions, they have to pay the consequence up to and including failure. That's just what happens when businesses get heavy, slow and dumb... unless, of course, the government decides they are "too big to fail."
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:27 AM   #24
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burdened by onerous union contracts
Journalists have never made big money and without unions would make even less.

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Old 02-28-2009, 10:31 AM   #25
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I couldn't bring myself to read the last edition of the "Rocky" yesterday and just finished 3 hours of reading it from front to back this morning. A flood of memories washed over me as I recalled some of the stories and the deeply entrenched history of the newspaper.

I grew up here and have read the Rocky my entire life until a few years ago when they set up a joint operating agreement with the Denver Post. When the competition softened between the two, the customer service at the end of the line (morning delivery) was thrown out the window. At best, I could get a newspaper thrown somewhere on my property by 10am....too late for us working folks. It used to arrive by 6am and be put on the porch. Sigh....like everything else, customer service dwindled and nobody cared.

I still, sadly, say goodbye to a fine Denver and Colorado institution and mourn along with others the loss of a long time friend.

I say a prayer for all the employees who lost their jobs and bid them well with their search for new ones.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:05 PM   #26
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Not all newspapers are unionized

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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
The reality is that newspapers have enjoyed a very successful business model that as of 2005 was generating profit margins of 20 percent, double that of other other Fortune 500 businesses. And like many businesses (*cough* automakers *cough*) they made some lousy decisions. They became management heavy, burdened by onerous union contracts and they were slow adaptors to the new media. And like all businesses that make lousy decisions, they have to pay the consequence up to and including failure. That's just what happens when businesses get heavy, slow and dumb... unless, of course, the government decides they are "too big to fail."
The Los Angeles Times is debt ridded because the Chandler family sold to the Tribune Company who then sold to Sam Zell. The LA Times is not, has never been unionized and never will .....so we cannot blame unions for this bankruptcy....it is the massive debt, some outrageous golden parachutes to some very bad management (some $11 million still owed to one), and advertising revenue (which pays for most of the costs of running a newspaper) drying up mostly from mergers and companies going out of business. There was a time in the mid 80's when the LA Times could sell more advertising than it had the capacity to print.....Perhaps the Times is guilty of being like the railroads who didn't realize they were not in the train business but in the transportation business.....Newspapers are in the information business......the trick is figuring out how to deliver the news in a format that is paid for by subscribers......and I agree, people don't appreciate what they don't pay for....unfortunately, buying news information may not be a top priority of many of today's households and our democracy is at risk because of that IMHO.....paula
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #27
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I couldn't bring myself to read the last edition of the "Rocky" yesterday and just finished 3 hours of reading it from front to back this morning. A flood of memories washed over me as I recalled some of the stories and the deeply entrenched history of the newspaper.

I grew up here and have read the Rocky my entire life until a few years ago when they set up a joint operating agreement with the Denver Post. When the competition softened between the two, the customer service at the end of the line (morning delivery) was thrown out the window. At best, I could get a newspaper thrown somewhere on my property by 10am....too late for us working folks. It used to arrive by 6am and be put on the porch. Sigh....like everything else, customer service dwindled and nobody cared.

I still, sadly, say goodbye to a fine Denver and Colorado institution and mourn along with others the loss of a long time friend.

I say a prayer for all the employees who lost their jobs and bid them well with their search for new ones.
We've only been here 15 years, but I feel the same loss ~

Shari
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:49 AM   #28
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Chicago Sun-Times has just filed for bankruptcy.

Sun-Times Media Group files for bankruptcy :: The SouthtownStar :: Business
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