Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Furloughs and Paper Closings

We don't typically spend much time on Print Media (as the subtitle says, we're about TV and Radio), but we'd be remiss if we didn't throw in a couple print-media notes here.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will no longer be doing print editions, and is going digital only after this morning's paper. The publisher of the paper, Hearst, says that the economic conditions caught up with them.

Here's the article from the P-I itself.

Meanwhile, locally, of course the Post already shut down last year. But now the Enquirer is taking a step to help cut costs.

Many, if not all employees are being sent on 7 day furloughs (read: unpaid vacations) to help cut costs. Thus, the reason John Kiesewetter's blog wasn't updated last week...or why several people, including Peter Bronson, won't be doing any stories this week.

Now, print media won't necessarily go away. We know this. After all, there will always be some places where internet isn't readily available, or where people support the Dead Trees (tm by OMW) editions of their local papers.

But it is pretty clear from the P-I shutting off its print editions that print outlets know where the money will be in the future: the Internet.

As the story we linked above about the P-I says, conditions aren't just affecting local papers in the Tri-State. The P-I will be the largest newspaper to shut off their presses in the nation to date and go web-only. (Yes, we're pretty sure the Post had a smaller circulation than the P-I.)

It just goes to show, things are changing in the world...

EDIT: Cliff, aka 74WIXYgrad, makes a good point.

There may actually exist a situation, sometime in the future, where there are smaller print edition newspapers, dedicated to one specific neighborhood. He explains that there's a paper in his hometown, Rittman, Ohio, called the Rittman Post, which is really just a string of smaller, neighborhood-centered papers for news, but it's all one operation as far as classified ads go.

And by the way, as we're listening to 700 Club here as of 9:05am, they're talking about the P-I story.


74WIXYgrad said...

I think the daily paper will not exist as we now know it. There will be limited editions, possibly concentrating on neighborhoods or smaller communities. There are a string of papers, headquartered in my hometown of Rittman, Ohio, called The Post. The news in each edition is concentrated on a smaller portion of the total coverage area, but the classified ads are for the total area. The paper is delivered free, the advertising supporting the costs of putting the paper out. Some of the stories and are from reader submission, I've had a few bylines over the past couple of years, stories taken from my blog.

Regional and national news are gotten more readily off several television news and internet sources and the time you read it in the paper, it's more history than news.

In order for the metropolitan newspaper to survive, it will have to change the way it does business.

74WIXYgrad said...

I forgot to add that The Post is a weekly publication.

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

Cliff, something similar exists in this area. It's the Community Press (in Ohio) and Community Recorder (in Kentucky). Each paper covers one part of Greater Cincinnati. There are 17 of them that cover much of N KY and parts of Southwest Ohio. They collect a modest $2.50 every month I think it is, which isn't too bad, considering these are weeklies, so you're getting each paper for around 62 cents.

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

By the way, their web presence is co-located with the Enquirer, and they are owned by the same company. Still, for all intents and purposes, they aren't run by the Enquirer, and each paper has its own separate newsroom, writers, etc..