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Can papers survive when competitors fall

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by PatrickCarney, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. PatrickCarney

    PatrickCarney New Member

    What will the impact be on newspapers like the Denver Post when their main competitors fall? If the Tampa Trip falls, does the St. Pete Times survive?

    Basically, can print papers survive if there is only one major paper per major market?
  2. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    There are a lot of one-paper towns. Big ones too. In California alone, I can think of San Diego and Sacramento. Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Salt Lake City. One-paper cities are the norm rather than the exception.
  3. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Most of us better hope so.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    St. Pete will survive without the Trib. For years it has boosted its presence in Tampa, trying to beat the Trib on its own turf. Soon, perhaps, it will just get the turf handed to them.
  5. Desk_dude

    Desk_dude Member

    Denver's situation is different than a place like Tampa because the Post was in a JOA with RMN.

    The Post's circulation will nearly double. But expenses will drop. With just one paper, the press/platemaking operation will be diminished. Some fewer circulation and ad people. Plus there won't be the expense of the RMN newsroom.

    In other markets, it should be even more beneficial. There will be more circulation and money to charge ads. And the expenses won't be that much greater.

    The residents will suffer because there will be one less outlet for news.
  6. Desk_dude

    Desk_dude Member

    Yes, Dean will be cutting expenses along the way.

    Just saw he plans to outsources the printing at the LA Daily News, which already was printing other papers in the chain. Being done by a company in Gardenia as well as the Orange County Register.
  7. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Salt Lake City?
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Salt Lake is a two newspaper town, and Provo and Ogden have three that compete for readers.

    The East Valley in Phoenix is served by the East Valley Tribune, which dropped from being a daily recently.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Two-paper towns are just the leading edge of the carnage. It'll hit the one-paper towns soon enough.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I disagree. I dont think you'll see circulation almost double. There are a lot of people who refuse to subscribe to paper A for one reason or another -- writing, political, hard on for the owner...
    You assume because that's the only option for a paper that they'll opt to take a paper.
    Post will see a bump but not close to double...
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    There are a number of one-paper cities that are close to losing papers. San Francisco, Philadelphia (more or less). The lack of competition may even cause further losses as papers no longer feel the need to "compete," cut staffs, jack up ad rates and turn off more advertisers. Singleton is struggling and he's gobbled up the entire market between San Jose and Marin east to Sacramento.
    I'd really like to see papers that suddenly find themselves without a competitor to jack up their product and hope the community realizes they they don't have another paper to spare.
  12. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    Agreed, no way does the surviving paper get anything close to the entire circ of the dead paper. Because of the reasons slappy mentioned and because it will remind most people that they don't really need the print paper anymore. A lot of people subscribe out of habit, and when confronted with change, and reminded of the cost, they'll just quit.

    And JOA papers like the Post can actually be hurt by the competition closing. In Seattle, where the P-I is about to close, the Times handles printing, circulation and advertising with the P-I paying a percentage of the freight. When there were net losses, the owners of the P-I had to cut them a check to cover half of it. Now that check isn't coming anymore, and one company has to absorb the losses that used to be shared by two. Plus they absorb all the infrastructure costs -- the printing plant, delivery vehicles, etc.

    They'll pick up some amount of advertising and subscription money, but probably will not come out ahead.
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