Tuesday, March 17

American Newspapers begin larger Fold

We and they knew it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Today the final printed edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer rolled out to News stands. No one would buy the failing paper since Hearst Corp decided to off load them after a $14 Million loss last year.

Newspapers that have made there way to our doorsteps for years are now starting to succumb to the reality that they are for the most part an unprofitable venture. A bygone relic of Americana and are being placed on the shelf of antiquities along side the telegraph machines of the past.

Many people the world over feel a sense of remorse for the loss of these dinosaurs of the industrial age. The romance that has been held for the sight, the smell and even the feel of the news in ones home on a crisp Sunday morning. The memories of youthful days spent in dad’s study or about the breakfast table reading the Sunday comic section from the home town paper. The sound of the snap of pages as they were turned and folded.

Now, we are faced with the loss of that intimacy with the news.

There is a new twist on the old story however.

Companies like Comcast – who owns Hearst Corp have decided they are going to take many of these News Papers and move them to an online only platform. Once they are there, they are going to start to charge you to read them.

They are planning to charge per article, not per publication.

They couldn’t figure out how to make money in print, so now they are going to reduce staff dramatically, cut overhead and manufacturing costs and increase consumer costs?

I think they may do better if they started charging a subscription fee rather than a reader fee. If your weekly subscription to have a home delivered copy of the paper was $5 or $10 than your weekly internet subscription fee should be $2.50 or $5 since there overhead will be slashed by better than 50% as they downsize operations.

Let me explain a little bit more:

Hearst Corp will cut out about 145 newsroom jobs at the Post-Intelligencer when they go digital. That will leave the online only Newspaper with about 20 reporters and editors in total. That means they are removing over 87% of the work force. Now remove the machine maintenance and operation expenses, inks, paper and even delivery costs and expenses from the cost of the papers operations.

After all of that, I might actually consider a $1 week subscription fee to high for full access. 50 cents a week or is that still too high? A dime a week may be too high.

How many of you would actually pay on a per article basis to read your news?

Why not just turn on the television or radio and listen to C-Span.

You already pay for your cable after all.

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