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The Online-only Idea is Definitely Spreading...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WriteThinking, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    ...perhaps for better, in some ways, and for worse, in others.


    This item speculates on the possibility of an online-only Los Angeles Times. According to this, the paper hasn't actually seriously considered any such move, yet, because of all the ad revenue/"lifeblood" provided by the print edition.

    Such a discussion, officially, seems inevitable, though. And the prospects -- especially the job prospects -- are scary, to say the least, especially when you consider such changes going on industry-wide.

    Still, this is a good, interesting read on the future possibilities, if they were ever to be undertaken in earnest by a major-metro newspaper...er, "newspaper."
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Wow. I can't believe a blog is right on the money. Way to be ahead of the trend.
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Funny, 150 journalism jobs, down from 625 now, is pretty much the formula the Seattle PI is using and that I believe will be the future. 20%.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I think most papers who are heavy on the web might generate 2-5 percent of their ad sales through web ads.

    So I guess the online-only model could work -- if you got rid of 95-98 percent of your expenses.
  5. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Again I ask, for the umpteenth time, what online ad have you been anything but annoyed by while trying to navigate the web?
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    If the nation had nothing but online-only news sites, would someone have a light bulb come on above his head in March 2009 and think, "Eureka! We need to actually print out and deliver this information to people, in a form they can hold and take with them"?

    Just asking.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I play a lot of web-based video games, and have started with several of them based on web ads.
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I read a thing today that ads are going to get bigger in some cases, and the idea is that all advertising is annoying to some extent -- see: TV ads. So that's the theory, I guess.
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    This is a little more grounded in reality, I think (same guy, Russ Stanton, plus former LAT editor Jim O'Shea, who was fired for resisting cutbacks):


    Q: So let me ask the devil’s advocate question, which is — and there are plenty of answers to this, of course — why not shut off the presses right now?

    Stanton: For a number of reasons. One, in our case, you’d be walking away from hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that you don’t have to— you know, why part with that until you have to? And that’s one of the strategies that we’re employing and I suspect a lot of others are, which is, we’ve got to slowly— we’ve got to hold on to the paper as long as humanly possible because it is the lifeblood that finances everything else.

    O’Shea: You know, another thing you can’t forget is that there are 700,000 or so people in Los Angeles who want the paper delivered to their door everyday, and you just can’t walk away from those people. Now, maybe they’ll have to pay more to get it delivered there, and that could really be the answer. But at some point, somebody’s gotta pay the cost of gathering the news. It’s not free. People say the news is free. That’s not true. It costs money.

  10. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    There's a broken business plan for every byte on the Interet. Facebook, a brand name known to approximately everyone with user-generated content and no legacy costs, is having BIG trouble making money.
    It's like the Gold Rush. The people who made money sold stuff to the miners. Google runs the general store. Content providers are desperate grubstakers.
  11. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    How exactly do these online only places make revenue? There aren't enough ads to support them, unless they are charging like a million dollars for each.

    Sure the expenses (mainly newsprint and delivery) are reduced, but so is the income.
  12. onetwo88

    onetwo88 Member

    Can a real newspaper even survive as online only?
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