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PM paper: part of the solution?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Thinking out loud ...

    Your customers wake up to news on your Web site, a combination of (smaller) staff updates and AP (or other) feeds.

    The Web has more updates during the day, the kind that lend themselves to blogs, Twitter and other quick hits.

    Your print edition is a reconsidered PM edition, a paper printed and delivered the same day as the news it reports.

    Rinse, repeat.

    Could this work?

    With the right changes in mindset to accommodate changes in the way we live, and knowing the size and scope would shift to make it possible to make deadline, could a PM paper be more relevant than ever and be part of the solution? I know you wouldn't get ALL of the day's news in, but if you supplement online and re-think your mission, could a PM be a key ingredient of the answer we're looking for?
  2. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    The Sun-Times and Trib used to have evening market editions in Chicago, but they were since dropped. The Sun-Times' evening PM thing is now on PDF.

    Don't know if it necessarily would work.
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I don't know either. I'm just throwing out an idea hopeful it will spark better ideas that lead to the right idea or ideas.
  4. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    problem with a p.m. paper, at least one in a large metro area is trying to get the darn thing delivered in horrible traffic. now at a small daily p.m. like i was at it meant getting the final pages to the printer about noon and having a paper in people's yards by about 4 p.m. so it worked.
  5. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I like the idea a lot, JD. A big part that I like: many people who work daytime hours stare at a computer all day. They might like an evening paper filled with good features, news analysis, local stuff that happened while they were at work, etc.

    But yeah, delivery could be a problem. It's not as easy for kids to fill the roles of delivery people after school in this day and age, and a lot of the delivery crews for AM papers do that before they go to their daytime jobs.

    I hope this will be an option, though.
  6. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    it's not only the papers being thrown on lawns, it's getting those same papers to pickup points for the carriers and its lots of papers going to racks and stores.
  7. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think 4 p.m. is right out.
    Offered in the spirit of knowing what works for some won't work for all. Just a thought.
  8. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    I think one of the problems is that when people are staring at their screens all day, they read news sites. So it's going to be tough to hook them with things they haven't already seen.

    Also, I think part of what has allowed many newspapers to stick around this long is the fact that they're part of a lot of people's morning routines. I think the 6 o'clock is the evening routine, not a hard copy of the paper.
  9. sprtswrtr10

    sprtswrtr10 Member

    I wonder about this.
    I'm at a ex-PM that went morning 10 or 11 years ago.
    At the time, we felt like we had to go morning because we were being left in the dust by the big metro/statewide not very far away. (my paper is a Big 12 hometowner)

    I like the logic of returning to PM offered at the top of this thread.
    Yet I still wonder about the wisdom of going back to the afternoon.
    Would all event coverage be treated like a follow?
    And if so, does the beat writer have to spend every moment from the buzzer to, say 10 the next morning, to experience the immediate coverage/reaction and its fallout so he might offer something that brings it all together for the afternoon deadline?

    I just don't know.

    Also, to work at a PM is to experience the tyranny of the split shift
    (which is a great way to feel like you're working for free an awful lot)
    And do you ditch the agate page, or embrace that you can finally get everything in
    (and the same desk guy can do the section and the agate, because few curveballs get thrown between 8 a.m. and noon)

    Yes, I know, I'm looking at it based on past experience, which is likely a mistake.

    Still, what else is there to go on?
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    We'd have to re-think a lot. Plus, people who know the AM routine are fading away and will be gone soon. Time to start a new routine for future generations? I think it has elements worth exploring.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    The delivery was the major problem. Also, due to suburban sprawl, it's only gotten worse -- larger delivery area, and many of your customer are commuting greater distances and are exhausted by the time they get home.

    The problem, too, is you're probably going to need a newsroom deadline of noon to 1 p.m. Not much has happened by then. Some of the large West Coast PMs used to be able to get stock market close in their "final" edition, but the rest of the country's PMs didn't. Now hardly anyone runs stocks pages, but it gives you an idea of what the cutoff was.
  12. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I worked at a PM paper that is now an AM paper. The reason why they switched to AM is because the bigger paper that covered the area was an AM paper and the PM paper was missing out on rack sales. They experimented with it, getting the paper out by lunch time and saw rack sales increase. Then, they went straight AM and saw rack sales increase even more.

    I don't know if it work, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
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