Thursday, November 3, 2011

The newspaper implosion continues

More sad news for my friends still in the newspaper business.


  1. First floor of the Journal. You can almost see the tumbleweeds blowing....

  2. Hmm? No credit on the burned out machine photo.

    I wonder who took it?

    - EJM

  3. Oops! Did I commit journalistic malpractice by forgetting to cite you? Must be how I was trained :). Everyone knows your "photogenic" excellence my friend! The other photographer prefers anonymity.

  4. If I read this correctly, living in West Michigan I will get the Grand Rapids Press 3 days a week and will have to go out and get it the other 4? Sounds reasonable. No doubt people all over the city will gladly do this in an area that gets 80 - 100 inches of snow a year.

    This is of course if I still got the Press. I was an avid reader of the press for about 15 years. From the time I moved from Flint. It then slowly turned into a biased, slanted rag and I dropped it a few years ago.

    The sad part of all of this is guys like you put your lives into an industry that has, over the years, been on a mission to self destruct.

    Some of it obviously is changing social habits but I think a lot of the newspaper industry's problems are self inflicted. There are enough of us around that still like reading an actual paper in the evening, if we were given a product worth purchasing.

    Here's to things looking up for you.

  5. "Friends, colleagues... It is such an exciting time to work for this company. As we move forward blah blah blah.... move forward.... BLAH BLAH... moving forward.... Thank you for your time. Oh by the way, you're all fired. Pick up your severance checks on the way out!!

  6. Chuck, good points. The paid version of print home delivery is going the way of the dinosaur. There just aren't enough advertiser dollars to support the old model. It was never about demand, even in Flint, where 80,000+ area GM jobs disintegrated to ...what? 5kish today? In fact, we grew daily circulation in 2006 - 2 years in a row of home delivery growth. It was on the heals of this "success" that we were told to dismantle and gut promotion because the circulation growth didn't equate into increased advertiser rates and dollars like it used to.

    In near future, all that will be left of print will be sporadic delivery of advertiser wraps, free and unread by you and your neighbors. "That's ok, I get my news on the internet," you might be thinking. Where do you think this "news" is going to come from? There won't be much internet ad revenue to support a stable of serious hard news investigative reporting. All we will be left with for news will be reading Twitter and other people's opinions and snarky comments for "news". At least when the buggy whips and carriage business imploded in Flint in the early 1900's, it was replaced with the horseless carriage, something much better. That will not be the case with news. The medium might be better for some, but the content will suffer. It already has, as you've already noticed.

  7. I think what is inevitable is paying for online news. I would be okay with this if it is reasonable, say the price of a newspaper (ideally less because we are not paying printing costs).

    I have said for years that newspapers and magazines are doomed. Kindles are now putting books on the endangered list too.

    My point on it being self-inflicted is that print media has become so biased no one wants to read it anymore

  8. The whole idea of newspapers is kind of silly now. All that massive production and rushing around with very heavy bails for something that will be treated as trash within 4 hours of receiving it.

    Now there's alternative technology.

  9. Sadly, you are correct dmarks. I say "sadly" because I don't believe this technology has made content better. And to those old newsies like myself, holding a real newspaper is not the same experience as reading from a screen.

    The newspaper used to be called the daily miracle, and I always made the point to my carriers that a paper "spoiled" faster than a dozen eggs left on a porch in August - in other words, HURRY UP and deliver them!

    Smakutus, you kicked butt with sales as well as service. Not too shabby for a large home del and single copy op, you always stayed hungry and that was appreciated.

  10. it's all silly anyway...a front page article of the BCT recently told of a usps carrier who found a man that hadn't picked up his mil in a while. put that sh#t in the township newsletter. It's not NEWs. We DO get that from That which matters. those that care about "community news" are the same ones that are dying off and killing the only reason for print anyway...

  11. I should also mention: today, after delivering an open route on sunday, I had several Sunday newspapers let over, sitting on the floor of my car.

    Picking up a friend from school, several of her friends were with her and the only way I was able to pawn these papers off on them was when they realized there were coupons in them. Coupons, not news, "sold" these free papers.

    por que?

  12. Thanks for the kind words Jerry..

    You have Brian Pyscher to thank for getting me into selling the newspaper for you. It went from "if you could just get one new start per to week, it would make a difference for your entire year," to me going from that to thinking: "Why not one per day?"

    I never got to one a day, but I had a pretty good run with five or six years of leading sales hardware here..

    Other than the people I worked with, the only thing I miss about the Flint Journal is selling it.. In my last year I quit trying to sell subscriptions and went after the people who had totally quit the paper because of the three day thing and got them to pay me directly for Sunday Only delivery. I made more taking the Sunday paper to them than I would have delivering the three days through the FJ. In the end I had 25+ Sunday Only "subscribers."

    I always used to tease my friends the writers who I drank beer, played guitar, softball, and bowled with over the years that when it came down to it.. All that mattered was the TV Guide and coupons. In the end I was wrong..