Over the past five years the newspaper industry has experienced sweeping changes. Acceptance of the digital properties newspapers offer has grown within communities. Options for readers now vary from the traditional print product and standard online sites to tablets, e-editions and mobile applications. Internally, newspapers have seen aggressive re-organization with newspaper companies pushing the mantra of "digital first" and leveraging new vertical channels (health, auto, etc.) to better serve their advertisers. Along with these changes, we have seen a few properties close their doors (Cincinnati Post, Rocky Mountain News, Tucson Citizen), adopt hybrid models (Seattle Post Intelligencer, Ann Arbor News, Detroit News / Free Press) and expand their editorial coverage to include social, local and mobile aspects in everything they do.
Expanded digital coverageNow, four years later, some papers are beginning to adopt an even more radical model. Leading the charge is the news media company Advance Publications. Starting with their property in New Orleans, the Times-Picayune and expanding out to include the Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, Huntsville Times and the recently announced Pennsylvania property, Harrisburg Patriot-News and New York publication, Syracuse Post-Standard, they are reducing the days these publications print from seven to three.The latest change to come to the newspaper industry is the adoption of a three day print cycle. The first inkling of this new model was seen in 2008 in Detroit when the local paper moved from seven-day home delivery of their print publication to a modified program where three days are home delivered and other days of the week offer smaller versions available only at the newsstand. While the Detroit Media Partnership (Detroit News / Free Press) moved forward with their ambitious new plan others in the industry were watching.
While these properties are reducing print coverage, they are also expanding their digital coverage to meet the needs of both advertisers and the community. "In January, we will be changing our print schedule from seven days a week to three days based on the days advertisers and our readers say they value the most. With that will come an all-in 24-hour-a-day digital focus aimed at serving the ever-evolving needs of our readers, our advertisers, and our community," wrote John Kirkpatrick, Publisher and President of the Patriot-News, in a release to both readers and newspaper advertisers.
Newspapers as local media outlets will continue to evolve and we in the industry are seeing these changes occur right before our eyes. It is a time of change, and change is never easy. But, it is also an exciting time as we see the evolution of a new local media, a media that will remain a trusted source within communities, delivering advertising messages along print, digital and mobile channels under a unified, trusted masthead.
If you have questions about how these changes will impact your future advertising, please reach out to MANSI today. Our staff of newspaper consultants is ready and willing to help you understand how these changes will impact your plans and help create solutions to any issues that may arise.