The reality of what we now face begins to sink in

“I never thought I’d actually be here
when the newspapers finally die.”

— a Gannett Blog reader, commenting on my latest S.O.S.

22 Responses to “The reality of what we now face begins to sink in”

  1. Shirley Says:

    Newspapers die?
    Incomprehensible …

  2. Anonymous Says:

    This is a post on Google Finance … re: stories posted about recent layoffs.

    Posted by hugo.d…
    “A long time ago Buggy whip manufacturers did record profits and made money for all investors. But eventually Buggy Whips were no longer needed when the Tin Lizzie start to make its inroads into the lives of Americans. Eventually those shareholders who kept on holding dearly to those Buggy Whip company common stock ended up going broke while (watching)the world move on to automobiles.

    You do not want to be the last one holding GCI. “

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Name me one F-in Buggy-Whip Millionaire. Name One.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Apparently the death by newspaper trend is everywhere … At a Sun Valley conference recently,
    “Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, who now runs the social networking site Ning, kept up his death watch for old media Wednesday morning.

    In a morning panel session titled “Looking Around the Corner to the Future” – which, like all meetings here are closed to the press – Mr. Andreessen told the audience, which included many executives from the so-called “old media” world, that non-digital businesses are toast.

    “He said, ‘If you have old media, you should sell,’” according to one attendee, who spoke anonymously because the sessions are off-the-record. “If you own newspapers, sell. If you own TV stations, sell. If you own a movie studio, sell.”

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Just like the Schwinn Bicycle Company. You can’t wait and see what is next out there for your industry. You have to be the first one to take a leap and innovate. Even if it means a totally new approach to your business. Schwinn had a wait and see attitude and the competition leap frogged them and they went the way of the Doe Doe. Much like GCI is letting happen to their print business. Most of the newspapers around the country can not compete with the specialty magazines you can buy off the shelf or subscribe to. The Gannett paper I used to work for dropped the ball on that one and there is no way they will ever recover the loss from sitting on their hands.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    …a day late, and a dollar short.
    For all the money they made, newspapers could have launched any number of publications. Instead they “shorted” themselves by buying people cheap, and inexperienced. They got what they invested…nothing.

    As an example,Rockford Magazine was bought for $1 million but never produced any meaningful profit.

    Its the culture of newspapers that kills new adventures. Done, dead, and gone.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    The onl newspapers surviving are the independents. They have a whole satff focused on one product, not a reduced staff focused on several products. Unfortunatley a lot of our non dailies lack substance are are not relevant to the so called target market. For years we have rode the wave of the advantages of working for a corporation, now we suffer for the disadvantages.
    Really wish we would ionvest and do it right, stop half assing our business to its death.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Just think if newspapers had realized the Boomers were aging and had responded by gobbling up the obit/grief market. Nope. Guess they were too busy trying to cram print down the throats of a younger cohort.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 2:23 I am not saying Marc is wrong. However I take a grain of salt with any comments about old news industry being dead from people whose business is ONLINE. Of course he is going to say that. Just like microsoft's CEO said all print will be gone in 10 years. It's called self serving your product. As it is I will tell you… When I take a dump. I rather sit on the bowl reading a print item rather than holding a laptop. Also there will always be a segment of population that never adopts to techical innovation/change. Ie… People who don't get cable/satellite TV, cell phones, computers etc… I will still argue that a subscription to a newspaper is worth the money just for the coupons in newspaper. Kroger had a buy $100, $75 and $30 get 10% off coupon in paper other day. I went Kroger with handful of coupons and after using mine. Gave the others to people in line who were glad to get them. I told them they were in paper. IndyStar also had an $8 coupon in paper for free admission to Indiana State Fair on Tues, wed and thurs last week. Our circulation was increased for that day's paper. I heard those papers were very popular with the public. Yes for you who are consumed by content I say what Gannett world are you from? Gannett has always been about AD profit & revenue. How many pulitzers does Gannet own? But innovated ways to get people to buy the paper can be accomplished. It's a matter of WILL! Which leads me to my last comment that has been commented by others. Does Gannett want the newspapers to survive or do they want them to die? While times have changed I remember the Pulliam Publisher of Indianapolis Star having a program for young readers. It was published in paper every Tuesday. A 1 page section in paper with contests for young middle school kids to write essays, draw art etc… I realize that program was to get young people to read and buy the paper so that they would be future subscribers. Also for ThanksGiving, Easter holidays etc… Newspaper would have contest and pay few hundred dollars for best art picture of holiday. I think Star still has the turkey contest. BTW I work in production not the newsroom. My point is that innovation and creative ways could revive circulation numbers! JIM HOPKINS instead of all this GLOOM on your blog. Whether Gannett brass cares or not! I suggest you start a section on your blog from anonymous posters about innovative ideas they think could revive interest in newspapers etc… What innovtive ideas could lead to improvement. It's easy to tear down and lament the death of newspapers. Gannett brass may not care or listen but if anyone has any ideas that they offered or thought of and were slapped in the face. Maybe they can at least offer their ideas on this blog and MAYBE, just Maybe a seed may sprout. If I sound like an optimistic dote then fine. But it's better than complaining and feeling hopelessness. What do you say Jim Hopkins? At this point if someone has an idea and afraid share it cause they won't get credit. Well people are losing there jobs. So who cares. Share any ideas. Good Day.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Schwinn company still sells bicycles. They reinvented themselves.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Everyone said movies would die with the invention of the VCR and Dark Knight blew all movie records out the door. People said TV was dead and now people watch record hours of TV in their homes and the Olympics on NBC got the highest ratings ever last week.
    Come on people…the online CEOs love to overstate the demise of old media. But consumers keep coming back for more. USAT has over 2Million readers every day. what business would not want those numbers? Oh yeah, we have a website too. we are far from dead.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    we are far from dead.

    What planet are you from?????? LOL!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Well I’m from planet earth and it is obvious that there are just too many newspapers for the demand – you know, the economics 101 of supply and demand. The demand isn’t there anymore (for all kinds of reasons) and there are too many newspaper in too many areas. Something has to give and it makes sense that consolidation of the smaller papers into large is going to be necessary.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    6:29, are you kidding me, 2 Million readers every day? Just because they are free and almost every hotel across the country does not mean that 2 million people read it.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    New York City has how many newspapers? In like a thousand different languages. I don’t care what you say, people of a certain age are going to want to hold onto a paper in the morning. Not a freakin’ laptop that heats up your thighs. Ride a commuter train, watch how most everyone has their broadsheets folded just so, so they don’t infringe on their co-riders’ space. These people are READING, folks. And the folding thing is not a problem with Daily News and Post. I say to hell with broadsheet format and let’s switch to tabloid format. Stop being broadsheet snobs.
    The cost of paper has been killing newspapers for years. So what if the paper is narrow. Problem is all those presses, I guess. But it would save money and the paper would always be thicker.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    8:43, get your facts right: USAT *sells* 2.2M each day, as audited by ABC. Its *readership*, according to various syndicated studies, is above 5M a day.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    9:18, ever hear of a thing called Third Party ? When the new ABC rules go into affect the reporting is going to look a whole lot different for all newspapers.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Where we live people love reading the paper. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Just to let you know. Schwinn went Bankrupt in 92 and the Schwinn famliy lost the business they had since 1900 because they would not keep up with the Jones. What was left of Schwinn bicycles and fitness was bought by Scott bicycles in Boulder, Co. Then it changed hands many times and now just the name survives. The Schwinn family does not get a dime for that being on a bicycle at Walmart or Target. The companies that have bought and sold the name did.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    To the people saying newspapers aren’t dead because people want something to hold other than a laptop and read on the train, bus, bathroom, etc.

    sure… old people. how about kids? college students. how many of them do you see reading newspapers versus say, listening to an ipod?

    the ‘paper’ part of newspapers is going to go away, eventually. just like horses made way for cars, canals went unused because of the railways and freeways, radio moved over for TV, everything suffered because of the internet.

    what GCI needs to focus on is the NEWS not the paper. we should be all about information, not the medium.

    find ways to get information in front of people in ways that bring in profit. or at least allow advertisers unprecedented exposure.

    I haven’t quite figured out how yet. but I don’t see anyone else trying to figure it out either, which doesn’t give me much faith in corporate. The only thing I have faith in is me being laid off sometime in the next year or so.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    2:23… If we send in our innovative ideas, will we get Gannett Blog coffee mugs? That’s all people got from the mothership’s CDI for submitting innovative ideas…

  22. Anonymous Says:

    4:46 has it right: “The only newspapers surviving are the independents. They have a whole staff focused on one product, not a reduced staff focused on several products.”
    That’s the key to Gannett’s downfall (plus never reinvesting profits in staff, updated computer software that works, etc.)
    I never understood the need for the extraneous niche publications that consist of regurgitated copy from the newspaper. What a waste of time and energy.

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