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Friday, July 13, 2007

Not Fit to Print?

posted by on July 13 at 17:27 PM

Jon Fine, who writes a media column and media blog for BusinessWeek, posed this question on his blog yesterday: “Newspaper Triage: Which American Paper Will Be The First To Kill Its Print Edition?”

Fine goes with the S.F. Chronicle, but lays out a few other scenarios for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Raleigh’s News & Observer.

He also calls for readers’ predictions.

A few pick the PI.

Seattle P-I will be the first to ditch the dead-tree edition.

Posted by: Tony at July 13, 2007 11:43 AM

and

Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This one spans both Camp 2 and Camp 3. Major market (or so we tell ourselves), tech-savvy, strong online presence with the site, notably an emphasis on blogs both by reporters and readers.

But here’s the kicker: Seattle is still a newspaper town, thanks to a joint-opearting agreement between the Seattle PI and the Seattle Times. Each paper has its own editorial department, but they share marketing, circulation and advertising—all of which is provided by the Times. The Times’ owner has been looking for a way out for years.

There’s continued speculation that the PI might be able to float as a web-only—and the local environment is right for it to happen. The deciding point is likely when Hearst (PI’s owner) thinks it can float the online advertising revenues to support the experiment. I’ll give it 2 years or less, too.

Posted by: Nick at July 13, 2007 03:24 PM

RSS icon Comments

1

The rumor during the Times JOA lawsuit was that Hearst was going to turn the P-I into an all-online paper.

I don't think the P-I will do it any time soon, because there's one little provision in the JOA deal that makes all this interesting -- the P-I can now switch to a tabloid format at any time. What you'd end up with is more of a daily newsmagazine with sudoku and Dilbert suitable for the mass transit system we don't fully have, then doing the bulk of the hard news heavy lifting online.

Keep in mind, though, that for all the P-I's movement into blogs and online features, they're still trailing the Times, even online. Switching to online-only won't be a genius marketing move as much as it will be about self-preservation.

Posted by dw | July 13, 2007 10:26 PM
2

I wouldn't be surprised. I haven't read a paper newspaper for the last five years.

Posted by Gitai | July 13, 2007 10:41 PM
3

OK, now is *this* the Jon Fine that was once in Bitch Magent, Don Caballero, and Coptic Light?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | July 13, 2007 10:50 PM
4

Yes.

Posted by Josh Feit | July 14, 2007 12:43 AM
5

Frankly I really don't care what the Times or the PI does. Just as long as the crosswords are consistent. None of that archived bullcrap.

Posted by Gabriel | July 14, 2007 2:35 AM
6

If a former rocker it is, they should call it BusinessWeak. Good scoop Feit. And since most of your posts may as well be written in pig latin, we've formed a rap sextet called ANGER STRAIN, currently in post-production of a reworking on Newsies.

Posted by groot | July 14, 2007 7:47 AM
7

I'd also guess the P-I because of their online Reader app. It's a software download that lets you read the paper on your screen in a format very similar to the printed version, with similar column widths.

Posted by SeattleBrad | July 14, 2007 11:24 AM
8

#3
don't forget Vineland (ugh).

Posted by 24 hour martinizing | July 14, 2007 11:54 AM
9

The Vineland band, begun in 1881 as an outlet for musically talented employees of a shoe factory, matured in the 1890ís into a semi-professional group that was booked for concerts in towns and cities throughout South Jersey, until it was disbanded in 1936. On summer weekends, along the banks of the Delaware, outdoor band concerts entertained music lovers during the closing decades of the 19th century.

Posted by Grandpa says they were gay | July 14, 2007 12:34 PM
10

I'm calling it for the Chicago Sun-Times within 18 months. Their recent management change and proclamation of leaning to the left in editorial slant, coupled with eliminating home delivery service in many suburbs seems to indicate that they're in deep shit.

Posted by dantc | July 15, 2007 8:31 PM

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