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For those newspapers that claim to be thriving right now...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FuturaBold, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    I've read several posts on these boards about family-owned and smaller newspapers that are doing well, circulation is up, pages are up, etc. I love it ...

    Just curious -- how is your publication able to go against the overall trend? different business model? something innovative? better quality product? monopoly on your local market because the metro daily has bailed? being in a better cash position so you can better endure an economic downturn? just trying to learn...
  2. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Crickets chirping....
  3. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    Our demographic is still mostly alive. For now.

    Seriously, our little town of 8,500 is the place where natives return to die...and sometimes they bring friends. Seniors are a bloc you have to take seriously here. We still run those rural gossip columns most papers like us dropped 15-20 years ago because the old folks eat it up (We stopped paying the writers hoping they'd stop turning in those columns...turns out the money didn't matter to them). These people aren't on the Innerwebs and will never own a computer, so they still want our 8-16 pages delivered to them every Tuesday through Saturday.

    Now in about 10 years or so, once the majority of said demo has gone on to become readers of the Pearly Gates Herald, we're up shit creek because the things we've done to try to get new readers haven't been working.
  4. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    The biggest difference is that for most, smaller family-owned papers, they aren't part of a chain where they have to prop up a money loser.
    Plus, with local ownership, the publisher is going to have long-standing personal relationships with advertisers and they are going to be less likely to drop. You are also going to have homegrown reporters and editors, who also have personal relationships.
    I've been part of it before, but in no way does it make sense to have a paper made up of staffers who aren't from there. You lose credibility with your readers and your stories aren't as good.
  5. I'm a sportswriter for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa. Just under 30,000 circ., which has increased in ever-so-small increments each of the last few years.
    But I wouldn't say we're thriving. We've had cuts just like everybody else, albeit on a lesser scale. Our budget numbers are not pretty because of advertising.
    Our circulation numbers continue to stay strong mostly because of a loyal readership base in our core area (tons of baby boomers) and the fact we are very much the primary news source in a 60,000 pop. town without a local TV station.
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