Friday, December 18, 2009

The newspaper shell game

Jennifer Saba at Editor & Publisher (still there, online) correctly calls out the newspaper publishers for their shell game of charging readers more and offering them less. It's a strategy that probably will doom the industry, I believe, despite plenty of evidence that readers still like, desire and will pay for newspapers. In fact, my belief is that many advertisers will soon become weary of getting no results from their ultra-cheap online advertising, and look at print as a proven model. Of course, that doesn't include classified advertising lost to Craig's list and its ilk, but I'm predicting that some sectors may well return.

Anyway, Saba's comments indicate that she also sees the obvious weakness in a strategy of bleeding resources from a product that you want to sell for a higher price. If only newspaper publishers would.

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