Saturday, April 18, 2009

Signs of the times

More evidence of how tough things are in the newspaper business:

1. Just got a letter from a Montana newspaper with which we have traded papers for 11 years. No more. After May 1, exchange subscriptions will be cut off as a cost-cutting measure.

2. Got a letter from a major newspaper vendor addressed to the Outpost "legal department." That's me, I think. We had owed that company quite a bit of money at one time, but I promised to pay it off with regular payments, and I did, and we have been square for quite a long while. So why are we getting threatening letters?

Well, we weren't. The company is now in bankruptcy. It was writing to see if we had any claims against it.

1 comment:

Kirk Dooley said...

AZ newspaper news:

The East Valley Tribune, which until the first of the year was a daily paper, then turned into a 4-day-a-week free paper, will discontinue its Saturday edition come May 16 (it will publish on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday). The reason for this, the publisher wrote in the article announcing the change, is that the Saturday edition depended heavily upon advertisments from the local car dealerships -- a revenue stream that has completely dried up.

The loss of the Saturday edition will cost 13 staffers their jobs. Meanwhile, the paper has offered to deliver their "free" paper to locations where it is not being home-delivered now (selected neighborhoods get their free copy on their doorstep -- or somewhere in the yard -- every morning, but most folks have to pick up their copy at local Convenience stores). For a price. (We suspect it will be more than what it cost to deliver the paper when it was a daily.)

To add insult to injury, the Trib's website (where it was keeping up with daily news) was down yesterday because the domain name had expired. (One wag at a local blog said that the reason for that was probably that the person whose job it was to keep paying for the domain name had been laid off when the Trib went to four-day-a-week papers in January.)

I suspect that the Friday edition will go next (Wednesday is ad day for the grocery stores, and Sunday is the big ad day). After that, they will either be measuring for a tombstone (and not a tombstone ad) or looking for a sucker -- I mean, buyer.