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The Berkshire Eagle eliminates two days of print publication

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

  2. BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo

    BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo Well-Known Member

    Gotta say, as far as self-reporting goes, that was about as transparent and honest as you could hope for. Still sucks, especially for a paper that's been a New England jewel with an uncanny retention rate. People are more than happy to retire there.
    I Should Coco and sgreenwell like this.
  3. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Knowing nothing about the paper or the region, I'm surprised they kept Tuesday.

    Just about every Tuesday paper I see in my area (the Northwest) is skin-on-bones scrawny. Wednesday and Sunday are the days advertisers prefer, and at our shop, we have feature sections with targeted advertising (Outdoors and Entertainment) to bolster the Thursday and Friday editions. Granted, the Entertainment section ads have been rather scarce since COVID ...

    Anyway, if you're going to cut back on print, a four-day week makes sense to me (W-F, and a weekend edition for Saturday-Sunday). Maybe they thought a three-day gap without a new print edition was too long for their market.

    It's grim news either way.
  4. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I imagine the press room folk don’t want a split weekend. Note that their Bennington and Brattleboro papers are only going to six days, and I think they print those in Pittsfield.
  5. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Down to five days. They already were six days a week. For generations.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  6. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Oops, I misread the release.
  7. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I think the publishing frequency has a lot to do with the habits of the subscribers. For example, both my brother and sister still receive the Denver Post daily. Given the cutbacks at the Post they both chuckle about subscribing but say they can not imagine not looking at a paper every day.

    If the Post reduced to four days a week would they, or other subscribers, break the habit and just subscribe to the e-edition. And if they did they could stop paying $30 or so for the print edition and pay about $9 a month for the e-edition. At virtually every paper in the United States the print edition brought in 75-80% or more of revenue. Publishers have been worried about a revenue hit from a big drop in circulation of cutting frequency.
  8. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Here’s the problem: Newspapers are heading fast toward a world where advertising isn’t a thing. Flip through any random local print edition, and notice just how few ads there are. Not how small they are, but just their general lack of existence. As those advertising contracts expire, many — most — won’t be renewed. A print edition cannot support itself, nor generate revenue, on subscriptions and single-copy sales alone.

    A digital product has nowhere near the expense of a print product. No dead trees, no fossil fuel. A digital product, at the proper scale, can conceivably support itself on reader revenue alone.

    In my town, I face the situation where I not only don’t have a seven-day print product, I don’t have a seven-day web site. I logged in this morning to each of the three sites that cover my area (two Gannett, one independent) and saw no stories that were updated in the last 24 hours. That concerns me way more than not getting a seven-day print edition. If truly nothing happened here since Saturday evening, I could see that, but I’m reasonably sure that’s not the case.
  9. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Are the Gannett papers updating national news such as sports scores more frequently?

    And how many retailers your area are in Chapter 11. A lot of them will disappear as will there inserts.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    This is the big problem I've seen: Anytime a newspaper reduces the number of days for the print edition, you always see "we're expanding our online coverage" or some statement like that. But it almost never happens.

    In reality, cutting the number of days for print almost always means cutting staff in the newsroom. While there are less page designers and (maybe) copy editors needed with fewer days of the print edition, reporting jobs often are cut, too. And that affects news coverage, in whatever format.
    FileNotFound likes this.
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