Tons More on Newspapers

There’s lots and lots of talk going on about print newspapers and what happens next. Here’s a collection of some of those pieces:

David Carr at the NY Times voices a desire for traditional publishers to come together and tell everyone that they’re now going to charge for content. This is something I discussed as an unlikely scenario in an earlier post.

Mark Josephenson (CEO of responds to Carr and encourages newspapers to embrace new models and not look to the past.

Bloomberg writes about what it describes as the “first post-newspaper newspaper wars” going on among online publishers in New Jersey. One of the local combatants is Patch Media.

Time Magazine (once mighty, now itself careening toward irrelevance) republishes a list of the The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America. According to the list, they are:

  1. The Philadelphia Daily News
  2. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  3. The Miami Herald
  4. The Detroit News
  5. The Boston Globe
  6. The San Francisco Chronicle
  7. The Chicago Sun-Times
  8. The New York Daily News
  9. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The SF Chronicle publisher Hearst has apparently been approached by its employees’ union to potentially buy the paper.

Not newspapers but in the same general category, the local NY NBC TV affiliate is making a go of “hyperlocal news” with New York Nonstop. The video approach (vs. text) is good. But Forrester conducted a survey that argues, among other things, that most people care more about national than local news. Local or “hyperlocal” news has often been heralded as a competitive strategy for local newspapers. The Forrester data suggests this may be folly:


Source: Forrester Research (2008)

This survey operates, however, at too high a level of generality to be really persuasive to me. The best and most nuanced thinking about local issues/news and what people care about belongs to’s founder Steven Johnson in his post The Pothole Paradox.

There’s a distinction that has to be made between “news” and other categories of local content that are very important to people such as business search, what’s on sale, entertainment and events and other local information that doesn’t qualify as “news” per se. While the question asks broadly about “what’s happening,” I would imagine it was treated and interpreted as “news” rather than local events, for example.

Qualitative interviews with people might yield some more complex answers about the relationship between “national” and “local” information and the relative value it has for their daily lives.

People care fundamendally about what’s happening around and near them. But the decline of traditional media and the rise of dozens of local sites has made the process of getting that information more challenging even as it has made more types of information available (e.g., reviews). Thus the “post-newspaper” world is more complex than the old one — for both consumers and advertisers.

2 Responses to “Tons More on Newspapers”

  1. Joe DeBlasio Says:

    Greg, you might be interested in Keith Kelly’s comments on the NY Daily News in the NY Post this morning. I remember the News as a boy with circulations of 3 mil. weekdays and 5 mil. Sundays (my memory not necessarily accurate). Two of my good friends started their careers there as copyboys and they’re fond of telling me about the “good old days”. I tell them about the YP print good old days – it’s not the same!

    Hope you and the family are well.


  2. Joe DeBlasio Says:

    I didn’t give you Kelly’s link….sorry:


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