The end of the daily newspaper?

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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/05/29 20:23:06 (permalink)

We were responsible for collecting as well as delivering. Every Friday evening and Saturday morning I had to collect individually from every customer. Some were dead beats that you had to go after repeatedly. Nevertheless, every Saturday morning we had to pay the paper at a station house and what was left over was our earnings. I had a morning route and had to deliver the paper before 6 AM seven days a week, 365 days a year to prevent getting complaints. I probably walked 3 miles every morning. In retrospect that was quite a responsibility for a kid. I don't think there is any equivalent for that experience today.

The Sunday paper was a killer. It was huge. Since I had a route and my older brother and cousin also had routes my dad helped us out with divided up drops along the way. When we were done he would collect us and take us out for breakfast.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/05/31 14:51:31 (permalink)
Even web-based local papers are in trouble. AOL/Huffington Post goes into towns, sets up a local website called "The Patch", hires some local out of work journalist for like $35K per year, gives them a budget for stringers and vacation substitution, waits until the local media is out of business, then takes away the budget, hoping that the stringers will be willing to work for free by pretending that it's something called "hyper-local" rather than a multi-billion dollar operation.
Double Cheeseburger
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/05/31 15:37:51 (permalink)
The problem is on several fronts. For some reason, corporations got the idea that you can make money hand-over-fist in the newspaper business. The reality is, you can make a living owning a paper, but you're not going to get rich. About 80 percent of a newspaper's costs are fixed - transportation, the cost of ink, the cost of the paper. There's only so much you can cut there, so you have to make your cuts in that remaining 20 percent.
What gets cut at a local paper? Well, your older reporters are making too much money, the bean counters say, so they have to go. Nevermind that they have the knowledge base that is critical and have developed a loyal reader base over the years, we'll kick them out the door and replace them with somebody fresh out of school. And we'll pay the newbies a buck more than minimum wage and squeeze as much as we can out of them before they burn out and quit.
What else gets cut? Well, we're printing too many sections/editions, so that gets cut. Nevermind that you're cutting your available ad space in half, it means we can lay off pressmen and buy a cheaper press.
We'll centralize our ad production, laying off the ad builders who had personal relationships with their customers and knew what they wanted and how to make their ads pop off the page. Our ad builders at the centralized location are so overworked that they don't have time to give any ad the personal touch, so the ads look bland, but we saved a few salaries.
We'll either ignore the Internet altogether or we'll put a website up long after the horse has left the barn and our readers are used to getting their news elsewhere. The industry treated their news like it didn't have value, giving it away for free on their sites. Now many outfits are trying to put up paywalls - but readers are used to not paying for their content, so that's a tough hill to climb.
I don't know the solution. But it seems to me the bigger newspaper outfits are ignoring the one thing they have that their competitors don't - local news, local content, local knowledge, local relationships. They cut and cut and cut until the remaining skeleton crews don't have the time or energy to pursue those local stories that the other guys aren't covering.
By the way, I just started with Patch after 5 years with weekly newspapers and I'm loving every minute of it.  Is Patch like bartl describes? It's too soon for me to say, as I literally started last week, but I will say this: Patch has given me more opportunities for training in the last two weeks than my former employer gave me in the last four years.  Training is how you develop your people. Treating it as a line-item that can be cut is a huge, huge mistake.
My feeling is Patch can help a newspaper website by linking to stories and driving those visitors back to the original newspaper site. I would hate to see the area weeklies go out of business. But they're being hurt far more by their ownership than by any threat Patch poses, I really believe. 
post edited by improviser - 2012/05/31 15:39:51
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/06/03 22:11:57 (permalink)
I like reading the local paper every day & look forward to it. I COULDN'T  imagine going into the "library" with an Ipad or whatever those things are.
for the first time in over a year our paper didn't get delivered today. we called, gave them our info & within 45 mins. it was at the front door.
cut back mail delivery to 5 days a week but don't cut back on the newspaper.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/06/04 18:06:09 (permalink)
I see where some if not all of the Gannett papers online are now going to a pay model. I clicked on stories from the Nashville Tennessean and the Des Moines, Iowa and a got a popup saying I only had a few "free" articles left. Don't know all the details though.
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/06/05 01:08:31 (permalink)
I stopped subscribing to a newspaper many years ago. New was fresher and FREE online. Now I see where NYT has been charging and I bet a few more are or soon will be.
I learned to read and count at age 3-4 using a paper and my Mom. My kids did as well.
I really love my iPad but haven't started using it for publications. I do think that will soon change though.
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/06/05 04:46:23 (permalink)
If you think the Vanishing Newspapers are causing you heartburn, here's a list of other things going the way of the DoDo Bird.
Sooner rather than later i.e. "Almost Gone List":
Answering Machines
Tube TV's
Phone Books
Bank Deposit Slips
Subway Tokens
Printed Encyclopedias
Incandescent Light Bulbs
Within the next 50 years or sooner:
Home Phones
CD's, DVD's, Video Game Discs, and their players
Gasoline Pumps - (Can you say Batteries & Hydrogen)
Business Cards
Analog Clocks
Toilet Paper -(Replaced by Toilet Seat Bidets)
Printed Road Maps
Language Barriers, (Replaced by Portable Translation Software)
Money - Bills & Coins. (By 2020 only 10% of all transactions will be in cash.)
Desktop PC's
Passwords- (Replaced by facial recognition.)
Steering Wheels -(Replaced by robotic cars)
Cursive Handwriting (4 States have already dropped it in Schools)
AARP Bulletin June 2012 Edition
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/06/05 15:27:07 (permalink)

Where I'm at, the paper is printed once a week, on Wednesday.

    Same here, on Wednesdays. Good local coverage and H.S. sports scores mostly. The biggest section is the opinions pages, go figure.
ann peeples
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Re:The end of the daily newspaper? 2012/06/06 18:24:44 (permalink)
I worked for the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel in the late 80's thru the mid nineties.What an exciting place to be back then! Circulation was high as a result of my telemarketing department( I was a supervisor), advertising was a huge part of the paper, and it was so much fun to be there when huge stories broke, as word ran rampant thru the building. Nowadays I rarely buy a newspaper, as I get what I need online from them.Apparently they do charge now after viewing so many articles, which I have never hit the limit.
Its sad to me, because the printed word is becoming obsolete.
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