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Reacting to news

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by miamiheraldchick, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    If opinion is what sells, that'd be great. We wouldn't have to travel with the teams, we'd just have someone writing from the Lay-Z-Boy like most bloggers.

    People who like to read opinion not only can get plenty of it free online, they can read only those who agree with them.

    Oh, ours is better? The people who read all those nutty political Web sites don't think so. We are living in a world where you need not read anything that conflicts with your preconceptions, where your viewpoints, no matter how kooky, will be validated by someone somewhere on the Net.

    Is this:

    A.) the realm in which we want to compete?

    B.) a realm in which we can compete?

    I think not. On both counts.

    Our unique content is news coverage. We do it better than anyone else, we do it more extensively than anyone else and no one else can afford to do what we do in our markets. Our only true competition is our own Web sites.
  2. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Now, that I agree with. 101 percent.
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Habits have changed. We're not the only game in town.

    I'm not saying do away with news (that's what Frank is pinning on me).
    But, what I am saying, I will have something other than gamers and advances on the cover each day. Does it have to be the display piece? Absolutely not. But, I will offer the readers something they won't be able to get anywhere else. A non-dupe.

    Frank's solutions work well in a vacuum (or, 15-20 years ago). You choose. Where his solution doesn't work is with advertisers. Especially advertisers.

    There is no more "free money" (aka Classified Advertising). The nation's biggest retailer -- Wal-Mart -- never has invested in one newspaper ad campaign. And they won't. They're gobbling up each store or company that was a traditional newspaper advertiser. And, newspapers, lose.

    His free daily paradigm? Fails. They're not money-makers. The ones that succeed, succeed on the fringe.

    I'll agree with him, that one of our strengths is news coverage. It is. I'm just not sure we're going to have a vehicle for it.
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That's what I've been saying. It usually shouldn't be the focal point.

    Nope. The Web site is a tough sell. Our advertisers believe in the print product.

    Wrong. Look at the original ones in the Bay Area. The original owner sold to KR, now Singleton owns them. Neither would buy a money-losing paper.
  5. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Frank, I've got 21 open pages out of 24 tomorrow that are saying you're off-base on that one.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I know the Bay Area freebies. Too early to tell.
    And, using Knight Ridder as an example isn't impressing me.
    Dean Singleton? Nothing about him impresses me.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Apparently you don't. Too early to tell? The Palo Alto Daily News debuted in December 1995.

    Anyway, my original point had nothing to do with the revenue these free dailies pull in. It was that they are newsy, and people read them even though they have the Net at home. I mentioned the alt-weeklies because it's clear that New Times felt they couldn't even give away opinion writing and succeed as a business.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    For a Friday paper, let's see, I'll bet the A section has department store ads and you have a Weekend Entertainment section packed with ads. And the auto dealers will pull out all the stops the next day.
  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    What department store ads? They're all one company, now. Federated Inc.
    No more Macy's, Bullocks, Broadway, May Co., Robinson's. They're, for the most part, all gone.
    That well is almost dry. Same with Classified.

    Wal-Mart, Linens 'N Things and Bed Bath and Beyond are direct-mail advertisers.
    I'm looking for one revenue stream that is new. I can't find one. Not in the newspaper.

    Oh, and your coveted auto ads? Bye, bye. Autotrader.com. Carmax.com. Autonation.com. CraigsList.com. Even, EBay.com. See a trend?

    What about those movies? Ask the LA Times how they're doing with their movie ads? The LA Times. Hollywood. Plummeted four of the last five years. (Last year was up, but it was a big box office year.)

    I'm sorry. Those glasses you're wearing have a rose hue.
  10. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    We've got them. All the large papers in this region do. We'd be in deep shit if we didn't, but we have them ROP, not as inserts.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    We have them, too.
    It's one company. All it takes is for them to shift their focus to the internet or to direct-mail advertising, and that's it. The party's over.
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Fine, be Chicken Little. Seriously, if you are that down on the biz, step aside. I prefer to forge ahead aggressively rather than go, "Oooooow, the mean old Internet is faster than me! I guess I'll have to cut and run and let them break all the news! We'll just do our wussy features and have lots of opinion that nobody gives a flying shit about! Cause we're dyyyyyying! So we'll just give up on news and become a PBS station in print. Woe is us."
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