“When papers fold” by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

In my post yesterday I covered a story out of MD where a mayor was upset with bloggers holding them accountable. I later added a comment of 10 major newspapers that may fold or go to on-line only editions this year.

Fast forward to today’s Financial Times featured story by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson entitled “When papers fold.”

“IN LOVING MEMORY 1764-2009”

“The newspaper business as we knew it has passed away after an long battle with falling advertising revenues, an ageing readership, internet-based competitors, inappropriate levels of debt, inflexible cost structures, over-lofty ambitions, the complacency that comes of monopoly positions, and a loss of nerve about putting a price on its content online.

It is survived by the news business,  a leaner, less indebted, more locally focused group of blogs, online newsrooms and a surprising number  of newspapers–in print and on line–whose expanding readership is demonstrating a continuing appetite for the journalism the newspaper business pioneered.”

In this full page story they have included the top 20 US daily newspapers, average circulation with circulation numbers from Sept 2008 to the % change since 1990.

USA Today, with a circulation of 2.3 million, has increased by 69.2% while Newsday has dropped by 47%. Other big losers include NY Daily News dropping 43.8%, Chicago Sun Times 41.4%, Detroit Free Press declined 53.3% to the LA Times down 36.3 % and the NY Times down 11.3%.

This problem is global in scope. “Across Europe, newspaper groups are struggling to cope with advertiser migration to the internet as well as recession. Both represent the most serious threat of their type that the industry has faced in peacetime, Mrs. Bailey says.” Note: Mrs. “Sly Bailey is chief executive of Trinity Mirror which publishes 100 free titles around the UK”

I spoke to a retired journalist earlier today who repeated what appears in this newspaper article. “A number are still reasonably good businesses but took on too much debt.”

As stated yesterday and worth repeating. Without the printed page where would we get the majority of local to international stories that we blog?

Mr. Terry Horne, publisher/president of the Register has surely recognized the challenge that his newspaper faces and has placed a major focus on their own blogs and internet reporting. I wish them the  best of luck.

Note: Today was the last issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer which will go to Online Only


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