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Return of the PM as an E-edition?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Guessing that's a deadline issue. And again, it makes so much more sense to go away from print. It's expensive. In this day and age, it loses its timeliness by the time it's sent, printed and delivered. An e-edition, you can deliver it at 5 a.m. to inboxes and it would be completed an hour or three beforehand. Plus, you can fix major errors if need be with the e-edition. It just makes so much more sense in this day and age.

    I get it: I grew up with print. I worked in print. Times change.
    SFIND likes this.
  2. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    Funny you would phrase it that way. On the day he was announced as the editor in chief of the OCR, he showed up wearing khaki's, tennis shoes, an unbuttoned shirt over a T-shirt and his ever-president neckware with Tinkerbell dangling from it (he loved Disneyland).
    MileHigh and Baron Scicluna like this.
  3. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    He still does. A huge feature story that started on A1 and took up tons of inside real estate with graphics, maps, etc. was Curley's guide to navigating Disneyland. Because that's really local to Spokane and the Inland Northwest ...
    Hey, I've never worked for the guy, and he's certainly throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks at the Spokesman-Review. Maybe he's helping keep them afloat financially. But there's a whole lotta ego going on, from what I can see and have heard.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
    ChrisLong likes this.
  4. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    I worked for Curley. He lied to my face. Under his direction, my 44-year career ended. I was OK with that, but I figured I had 3 years left. I exited at age 62. I was planning on getting to 65. Truthfully, I'm glad it ended. I have nothing to prove. I like being retired.
    Liut, I Should Coco, HanSenSE and 2 others like this.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    The problem there isn't so much content as it is distribution. It's getting harder and harder to find carriers to get the paper from the press to the customers. You also have a big issue with even small papers going to production hubs and centralized press locations, which is why you have the early deadlines.

    Our paper, for example, has a circulation of about 7,000. We used to be an afternoon paper with our own press, but when our lead pressman was ready to retire and our carrier force dwindled to just a handful of people, they shuttered the press and went to mail delivery. We now are one of three similar-sized regional papers from the same chain printed on the same press, about an hour from our office, and have a 5:30 p.m. deadline instead of 10:30 a.m. like in the old days simply because that's our time slot to print. We have one or two carriers who drive 70 minutes each way to get the papers, and they take them to either racks, stores or the post office for mail delivery.
    All of those were cost-cutting moves, of course, but looking just a bit down the road they were also prudent. Despite our best efforts we didn't have a ready replacement for the guy who had run the press for 30 years, and if we kept a carrier on board for more than a month it was considered a win.

    All of that is to say, you can write Pulitzer-quality material every day but if there's no way to get it to readers it's worthless. And one of the major overlooked breakdowns during the industry's long slide is that it's getting harder and harder to keep those key production and distribution components in place. Running a press is a dying profession, and the days of cheap teenage paperboys pedaling all over town for the sake of having their first job are long gone.
    I Should Coco and playthrough like this.
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed. Which is why if/when you go digital only, your approach is the halcyon days of the 1990s when you can send a final page at like 1 a.m. for the next morning's edition instead of 1 p.m. that happens today.
  7. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    We have discussed this before but the death of print will be when papers can not find anyone to deliver the product. The remaining carriers are still getting up at three in the morning but making less money as circulation continues to decline while the price of gas does not. And now many of those carriers are passing fast food restaurants advertising for help at $14 an hour. These restaurants allow one to be inside during the winter and offer days off and vacations.
    SFIND, I Should Coco and Batman like this.
  8. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Well-Known Member

    @Batman, that's a great point. The consolidation of printing presses has significantly hurt the product.

    Then again, we're talking about execs who are just trying to ride profits for as long as possible and not really concerned about the future of the print product. I really wish a bored VC would give the evening edition a run, just to see how it plays out. I mean, that has to be less risky than backing a start-up, right?
    Batman likes this.
  9. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    Disagree. If you’re doing a PM e-edition, then you absolutely want whatever news broke in the morning. Without having to worry about the timing of the press run, you could even make the final out-the-door-on-the-web deadline as late as 2 p.m.
  10. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    The trend towards consolidation of plants will continue. But I have wondered when afternoon papers will reappear because pf the backlogs at the main plant. For example I think Cincinnati and Indianapolis print in Columbus. Instead of Indianapolis printing at 9:00 P.M. or whenever just flip the paper back to afternoon. The presses can run at six of so in the morning. That way you can at least get all the sports scores in and have decent game stories.

    And from a production point of view you can run a lot mroe presses through the same plant that should pay for the second shift.
  11. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Of course. Just like if you're doing an e-edition only for the a.m., you can have an out-the-door edition at 2 a.m.
  12. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Why read an e-edition with a limited amount of stories when you have websites with many, many more stories — websites that update without having to “reproduce” a page? I don’t see the sell.
    FileNotFound likes this.
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