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Memphis rumor — Paper will drop to five days a week

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    A trusted and valued source says that Scripps has a plan in place for the Commercial-Appeal to go from its current seven days a week format to five.
    Options being considered are:
    • Simply drop two editions, with Saturday and Monday being the top choices
    • Roll out an electronic edition to replace the days dropped.
    • Roll out niche publications to replace the daily paper on the days dropped.
    That option comes with other options:
    • A Saturday sports tab that would not contain live results, instead pointing to the website or it would contain live results and not be a pre-print.
    • Drop the Thursday or Friday paper and replace it with a weekly entertainment tab.
    • Replace one edition with a tab that would focus on women/families.
    • Replace one edition with a tab that would focus on Memphis business.
    • And replace one edition with a tab that's focus will rotate from week to week.
  2. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    You must be shitting me.

    That's unbelievably bad in that market.
  3. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    I don't think anyone would ever drop the Thursday or Friday papers ... Tuesday is the weakest for ads, but it's awkward to drop that one.
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Dropping two days is obviously a drastic step to take, but the Washington Times recently dropped to six days with Saturday being an online edition.
  5. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    Come to think of it, the WSJ and USA Today do pretty well 5x a week. YES, I know that's very different.

    Just sayin' (as people like to say).
  6. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    Oops, before you jump me...Wall Street Journal has a Saturday edition now, doesn't it?
  7. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    I think this is only the beginning. You'll see more and more papers do this with their print editions in the next few years.
  8. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Active Member

    FishHack is right, but I think it could happen in the next few weeks. Papers are so desperate to cut costs that nothing is off the table.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    So, the answer is hyper-local, hyper-local, hyper-local ... but let's not have Friday night high school football in Saturday's paper? In fact, let's not have a Saturday paper?

    I've been hearing consultants say people don't have time to read on weekdays because of their jobs. So, let's eliminate the paper on one of the two days when most people are off work and presumably have all day to read?

    Wow. Why not cut to the chase and just stop printing? Why put out a paper at all?
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Be patient.
  11. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Also, if a weekly biz tab is selected, that means the daily biz section, clocking in at 4 to 6 pages would go away as well.
    Local biz coverage gets folded in with news, with the paper hanging on, maybe, to a Sunday biz section. Or it could all be in the tab and just not have a biz section anymore.
    It would mean a pretty big savings in print costs.
    You could cut as many as 2,500 broadsheet pages a year. If all the tabs were pre-print, that means you would also cut one, maybe as many as two work days at the press.
    That would be a huge savings in personnel cost.
    But that runs into some contract issues.
    This is one worth watching, because if Memphis can pull it off, Knoxville is next and then the rest of the chain follows.

    And to J_D's point, sports coverage has never carried a paper, but as I understand the plan, you would still get something on Saturday. It would just be a sports tab, but more like a Gameday thing that would have previews and if they did it live, it would have high school football.
  12. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the latest info, Jay.

    I keep thinking one day something will happen -- the Internet will be shut down by terrorists, it'll run out of bandwidth, security will be impossible, or who knows what -- and all of a sudden "newspaper" companies will scramble to find an alternative: print.

    "Hey, uh, do we still have phone numbers or addresses for those people we've laid off?"
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