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Most Publishers are Dinosaurs (and the Sun Rises in the East Everyday)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LanceyHoward, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I read the NYT review of the Abramson book. Evidently she talks about how Bezos, when he bought the Washington Post, did not really worry that much about the editorial direction but instead focused time and money developing the Arc system and making reading the Post on-line a more user friendly experience. He spent time worrying about how fast pages loaded. The Post is evidently now doing well.

    How many publishing CEO's are worrying about the user experience of a digital subscriber. I can't believe top management at DFM or Gatehouse care enough to invest much in improving the on-line product. Other chains like McClatchy might care but are drowning in debt and don't have the money. Which explains why most newspapers have so little electronic circulation and appear to be in death spirals.
    RonClements and FileNotFound like this.
  2. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    The experience of the digital user is one of the main things papers consider these days, with more time and thought put into the digital product than into the print side in a lot of cases. Load times are something that our publisher and editors have all discussed. That's a huge deal for us (BH Media) and I'm fairly certain f0r Lee, which operates the BH papers now and has made getting load time down a priority for us.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've always figured if you really knew what you were doing - you wouldn't be wasting time dealing with newspaper companies, you'd have your own start-up to worry about and VC to impress. The people newspapers hire for internet advice? The equivalent of hiring an equipment manager off of a Super Bowl team and expecting to get better.
  4. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    May be a priority for BHM or Lee, but it sure as hell isn't for Gannett or Gatehouse.

    The Evil Gs are far too busy laying people off and decimating newsrooms of their photojournalists and multimedia people to worry about those dang whippersnappers reading their news on their phones.
  5. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Buffett said the reason he turned over the management of BH to Lee is because Lee is better at digital than BH was as a stand-alone.
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Buffett pretty much endorsed Lee management when he turned over managerial control to them (I say this from a foxhole because of the personnel cuts they have made). I am tempted to buy stock in the company but am scared off by the debt and the fact that I wonder if their small markets will eventually be unable to support a daily. Despite their proficiency at electronic publishing revenues continue to decline.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  7. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I know what the press releases said, and I know who is calling the shots. I still am hesitant about the Lee way, but it's who is in charge of us now. Some of the calls they've made have been good. Some I disagree with. But just because we moved to Lee to help with the web doesn't mean we weren't web-focused before. We were trying a lot of things before Lee took over. Some worked, some didn't. I have my own ideas about why the Lee deal was made, but since I'm not anonymous on here, I'll keep those to myself.

    For what it's worth, we just went to a Lee template for our website. One of the main reasons? Load times. Again, newspaper execs are thinking about these things. It might not be at the top of the list, and they aren't wanting to spend a lot of money on making things better, but they are thinking about them and have been for a long time.

    Even at the Gannetts and Gatehouses, digital is a priority way ahead of print. The problem is that succeeding at digital is not at the top of the list of priorities. Wringing every last cent of profit out of the company is.
    Doc Holliday likes this.
  8. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    The Post’s website is clean. No multimedia ads that immediately bog down the page. That goes for any platform I use (admittedly I don’t have a tablet). I feel like the Times is the same, for the most part.

    There was something I was looking up last night re: Grammys and I clicked on a Rolling Stone link. After about five seconds of script nonsense I closed the window.
  9. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Gatehouse uses virtually all their cash flow to support their hefty dividend of $1.52 a share and interest on debt. What little that is left is used to make acquisitions. So there is no cash to do anything, especially since revenues drop five percent a year..
  10. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

    Digital is not a priority at Gatehouse. I don't care what lip service they give to shareholders. Their actions speak far louder.

    You cannot say you are emphasizing digital when you lay off entire photo and video staffs at newspapers, as happened at Gatehouse outlets throughout the Northeast the past couple weeks.
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
  11. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I have on occasion gone through the financial reports of New Media Investments, a.k.a. Gatehouse. When you enter the company website they always have a few photographs from their papers. I always wonder if the credited photographer still has a job.
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
  12. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Sports Illustrated's site is the absolute worst with this. Stories just lock up on you because of all the shit going on as you scroll their pages.
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