Friday, August 1, 2008

Can the Regional Newspaper Survive?

The Star Ledger faces not only revenue losses, but the loss of jobs and perhaps even the sale of the newspaper itself. "The Star-Ledger announced today that 200 non-unionized employees will have to take a buyout by Oct. 1. If the total is not met, the Newhouses' Advance Publications is threatening to sell the newspaper. Reporters are not unionized, according to a source close to the paper." But who wants to buy it? It's not that newspapers have no value, it's just that it's readers have stopped subscribing to get their news from other sources. And as subscription dries up and the economy deteriorates, the advertising revenue drops.

I personally enjoy the Star Ledger, for its regional and local news; but this same information is also found on the web. And so this need to cut jobs to stay solvent is not the end of the situation for the Star Ledger and other newspapers, simply the beginning of the end. The current model is no longer working; news is far easier to share through other distribution models. We are witnessing a transition from newspapers to digital media. For us newspaper readers, start ordering your Kindle.