Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The death of newspapers

I haven't had a subscription to an actual paper newpaper in at least 7 years. Other than my father-in-law (who reads every paper he can, cover to cover, every night --and saves them to the chagrin of my mother-in-law), I don't know anyone who has a subscription, either. At least anyone under the age of 50. Everyone I know reads online in some way, shape or form. On a computer, iPhone, iTouch, Blackberry, Kindle.

Why wait until tomorrow to read what you can read right now? Especially when the story in tomorrow's paper will be outdated by the time it hits your doorstep...

According to Time, here are the top 10 newspapers who might be out of business by within 18 months, if not sooner.

  1. The Philadelphia Daily News
  2. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  3. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  4. The Miami Herald
  5. The Detroit News
  6. The Boston Globe is, based on several accounts, losing $1 million a week. One investment bank recently said the paper is worth only $20 million.
  7. The San Francisco Chronicle
  8. The Chicago Sun-Times
  9. The New York Daily News. Based on figures from other big dailies, it could easily lose $60 million or $70 million, and has no chance of recovering from that level.
  10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer
That's some scary stuff. What does that mean for the media business? Where do the writers go? To the Web, obviously, but can ALL of them afford to rely on an ad-based revenue model?


Mark said...

That $20 million figure for the Boston Globe is surely completely bogus. This link estimates the Globe at about $200 million:

And yes, that's still a steep decline from the $1.1 billion the NYT paid for the Globe in 1993, but a $20 million valuation isn't even credible.

Al print newspapers, the Globe among them, are struggling. But the Globe's web site generates more than 5 million unique hits a month, which counts for a lot.

Which isn't to say the Globe or any other paper couldn't pack it in by the end of the year -- but if it gets rid of Shaughnessy, is it still a completely bag thing?

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Mark: that struck me as odd and sadly undervalued. But I didn't create it, only quoted it.

Mark said...

Sure, I know it's not your figure. But that $20 million quote has been debunked in a few places around the intertubes, so why not here too? :-)