By paulgillin | May 8, 2008 - 7:09 am - Posted in BusinessModel, Journalism, Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers

Editor & Publisher has an interesting piece on the debate over paid subscription newspaper websites. It cites a rivalry between the well-established Watertown Daily Times of upstate New York and NewZjunky, a one-man link log that’s beating the tar out of the local newspaper online (That’s the Press, Baby had this story three months ago). The daily just took down its pay wall and is seeing Web traffic increase, but at what cost?

The quandary for newspaper publishers is whether to treat online audience as an extension of print subscribers or to level the playing field and compete for eyeballs with everybody else. The first scenario dictates that you circle the wagons around a paid model, and some 50 small newspapers have done exactly that. But the second option may be the only one that offers hope for long-term survival.

Business News

Newspaper Delisting Watch: Sun-Times Media Group (STMG) joins Journal Register on the list of newspaper companies recently kicked off the New York Stock Exchange. No matter, though. You’ll be able to invest via the Pink Sheets. STMG is exploring strategic alternatives, as are many others.

How to lose $75 million in 12 months: Avista Capital Partners, the owner of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, has taken a $75 million goodwill write-down on its investment because of declining circulation and advertising revenue. Avista bought the paper in late 2006 and took the write-down a year later. Star Tribune revenue fell $75 million between 2005 and 2007.

Miscellany

Alan Mutter documents a trend that many people in the business probably understood instinctively: newspaper advertising declines are proportional to growth in broadband adoption. The good news? There’s still money to be made in Mexico.


The Newspaper Guild has filed a grievance against The New York Times over a small number of layoffs that were necessary to meet the Times‘ goal of a headcount reduction of 100 people. Demonstrating logic that only a union leader can appreciate, New York Guild President Bill O’Meara said that his union “values quality journalism” and so would be filing a grievance because the layoffs were based on merit rather than seniority. (via Romenesko)


Editors Weblog has released more results of its Newsroom Barometer survey of more than 700 editors from around the world. Among them are detailed findings about the biggest threats to editorial independence, investment priorities and more.


Boston Globe EVP Al Larkin is retiring after a 36-year career. His job will be redistributed among other people. Larkin oversaw the Globe’s Pulitzer-winning coverage of school desegregation in the 1970s. The paper’s work at that time really put it on the national map.

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