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Is it crazy for an owner to invest in his print product?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TigerVols, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Apparently some reporters at the OC Register are "freaking out" (in fear) because the new owner of their paper is, horrors, planning to invest in the print side.


    Just goes to show reporters are just always an unhappy lot!

  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's a noble gesture, but will readers flock to print? I don't think that's going to happen.
  3. Hokie_pokie

    Hokie_pokie Well-Known Member

    Not sure it can work with a daily these days, but the paper I work for now is a free circulation weekly that is mailed to about 70,000 households in our county.

    We're doing very well by emphasizing print. Our website is absolutely terrible, even the publisher admits it's embarrassingly bad. But our ad revenue is up 125 percent over the last five years, even though rates went up 27 percent across the board when the circulation was expanded a few years ago.

    I do catch myself sometimes wondering how long it's going to last, when we see one daily after another taking it in the chops.

    But I salute the Reg's publisher for at least trying to restore some credibility to the print product. It's still the only proven way to make any real money for the vast majority in this business.
  4. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    In Hollywood, it's said "never put your money in a picture, even your own picture."
  5. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    The soul-crushing insanity in Santa Ana continues...with the posting of 25 new jobs.


    (Yes, I know the link above cycles back to SportsJournalists.com's jobs thread, but I thought this whole concept deserved it's own discussion.)
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    If they're freaked out because the owner is investing in something that will never succeed, they might have a point...
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    It's not insanity to hire a food writer or a movie/TV reviewer. People are obsessed with eating out and watching shit on the tube. It's not insanity to reinvest in coverage of the DODGERS.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of hiring a Dodgers writer and business editor. I think hiring critics is a waste of money. Someone to cover the film industry, yes. Someone to tell me if Dark Knight deserves four stars or a half-star less, no. Food writer who will report about local growers and trends, yes. Food writer who will shove some recipes at me or opine that the new restaurant has the best dingleberry pie in the OC, no. A local columnist could be good, could be a waste.

    I'm not a fan of opinion writing in newspapers in general, though in this case I certainly wouldn't want to get rid of Whicker (and, yes, I am aware that some people here still can't forgive that one column that was in bad taste). But I wouldn't want to add to roster of opinion. People can read opinion anywhere, but reporting is much harder to find (thus the pass given to a columnist like Whicker).

    In its heyday, OCR had the resources to do everything and the sheer bulk masked a lot of flaws. A lot of hyper-local stuff that was unreadable. A columnist who once referred to John Lennon as the "late drugnik." (Don't worry, it did not see print, and when a department head read the column and then asked me where the nut graph was, I shrugged and said, "With him, all the graphs are nuts.")

    Not too sold on the new owner. I actually used to buy and read the New York Observer (pre-Kushner) and whether I would have kept doing so became a moot point when the paper became unavailable on newsstands near my home. I know they've been through several top editors and there is less content. I check them out online every so often, but they are not on my favorites.
  9. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Jared Kushner is the publisher of the NY Observer. Aaron Kushner is the new publisher of the OC Register.
  10. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Oops, wrong Kushner.
  11. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Well, look. Food writing is in a boom period. It ain't going away for the next several years. If you do it right, you'll get online eyes. You might get subscriber eyes. People want to feel hip to that.

    At this point, unless you're just a beautiful writer and incisive analyst, no, film critic can not be all you do. Gotta cover the industry, gotta do all the TV blog shit, gotta create a following. And if you do, people will stick around.
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I really hope it works. I know the LA Times has taken the opposite approach ... cut payroll, bemoan circulation decline/ad revenue losses, repeat.

    Maybe some of those who don't like weaker LA Times will pick up the Register? I certainly hope so ...

    I really liked this part from the link at the top of this thread:

    Seems to me the biggest problem facing print editions in large cities is how to get local business to buy ROP ads. Maybe having a lot more QUALITY local coverage -- such as a "must read" community columnist or two -- is a start toward this goal.
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