By paulgillin | July 14, 2007 - 4:22 am - Posted in Paywalls

In a post that’s curiously date-stamped 10 days in the future, BusinessWeek’s, Jon Fine asks if the San Francisco Chronicle will be the first major metro daily to give up the print ghost. I suggested much the same thing a few weeks ago, noting that the Chron’s decision to eviscerate its news staff amounted to committing suicide.

I’m not a media critic, but I’ve always been surprised at how awful the SF Chronicle is. It seems to me that a great city like San Francisco deserves a better paper, but the two dailies in that area seem to have ceded that title to the Mercury News down the peninsula. I can’t speak to the quality of the Chron’s website, but if, as Fine suggests, it’s a better product than the print edition, you have to wonder how much longer the Hearst Corp. will commit to producing an inferior product on paper when its audience is one of the most digitally hip and wired in the world. Why not pull the plug and invest in an online franchise that has the potential to dominate a lucrative market?



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