Newscoma Has Moved
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
  Newspapers Taking The Hits Newspapers have been taking hits for awhile now. Are we going away? No, but we are having to adapt. With the introduction to new advertising sources such as Craig's List which have annihilated classifieds (believe me, classifieds bring in the do-re-mi), newspapers are having to redefine themselves. We haven't had this issue yet, but we will. And we need to be ready. Fortunately, community newspapers such as the one I run have it much better off. Just think about it, why are urban-based newspapers going to metro community sections? The problem with rural papers is that the real estate has gotten much higher. When I talk of real estate, I'm speaking of the actual amount of space on a page of newsprint which includes copy and advertising. It appears that the New York Times are feeling the blow as well. The paper announced this week that they are cutting about a third of their work force and reducing page sizes.
NEW YORK The New York Times plans to cut 250 jobs and shrink the size of its pages in 2008, making them one-and-a-half inches narrower, the newspaper reported in Tuesday's edition. The newspaper's plans include closing a printing plant in Edison, N.J. The plant's workload will shift to another in New York City, the article said, estimating the moves would save the company $42 million per year. The job cuts account for about one-third of the Times' total production work force of 800, the newspaper said.
With this said, it's very hard to find a groove. What used to be marketing ideas for paper that had a year or two to take hold now are only given a life span of about three months. Operation costs are enormous. I think the biggest challenge we have is learning the internet and taking newspaper people and teaching them about how to run on-line editions. Ours is nowhere near what it needs to be, but I'm learning. Blogging is one thing, putting things on-line is a different creature all together, but the good thing is that once you have systems in place in an on-line edition, you've won part of the battle. Think about it. I build a paper from scratch twice a week. In our online edition, it's a matter of cultivating and maintaining existing structures in the coding consistently adding copy. The thing is, and this is one of my battles, newspapers are a business. They have to make money to survive. Yes, you want the community to have a feeling of ownership, but the reality is we have to pay our bills too.
 
Comments:
Maybe if small town newspapers spent their resources more wisely on more economic web solutions instead of spending thousands on corporate packages that don't always work, they'd be in a better position to pursue online revenue.

:D

Sorry. Couldn't resist. :D
 
But weren't you writing about how great corporates were in the past.:)
Actually, I agree, but I'm middle management, and God knows I try. And you know that better than anyone.
 
NO PROBLEM! :) I hear ya'. Corporate America is probalby the biggest double-edged sword, ever.
 
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