Tuesday, March 09, 2010

How Much Trouble Is Print News In?

I just finished reading an interview with E.W. Scripps CEO Rich Boehne in the Northern Kentucky University alumni publication Northern (Boehne and myself both have in common that we graduated from NKU). Rich Boehne is the man who presided over the closure of the paper where he got his start in the news business, The Cincinnati Post, as well as Colorado's oldest newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News.

What does Boehne say about the future of print journalism or newspapers?

The consumer and the advertiser will make that decision. [A newspaper] may not be seven days a week, and it might not be a product that is everything for everyone. I think in this fragmented media world, that’s probably a thing of the past.

[Print newspapers] may need to head a little more up-market. Instead of taking out content, what about putting content in and charging more? What about testing it to see if people will buy it?

That doesn't translate to me into a statement of confidence in the future of print media. It has been known for some time that Scripps' television and other media subdivisions are doing rather well, but that most of Scripps' print news properties are struggling, as is the company's print news division generally. One has to wonder if Scripps will eventually sell the Knoxville News-Sentinel or close the paper completely as the need for its print division declines.

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At Wednesday, March 10, 2010 5:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what you'll continue to see is a commitment to the printed newspaper while we also diversify.

The printed newspaper remains one of the most effective ways of reaching the local audience.

But we also have a lot of focus on our Web sites and that will only grow.

And we have a portfolio of products in Knoxville that aren't daily newspapers like Knoxville Magazine, Metro Pulse, the Shopper News, distribution racks for free publications from convenient stores to large grocery stores, a sizable commercial printing (printing for other companies) business and event marketing like the upcoming Women Today show.

When I arrived here in 1984, it was far different.

Like he says, we've been here over 100 years and we're planning to be here for another. But that means we'll change along the way.


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