A Note On The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, And A Note On Vacation Schedule

Posted by: Jon Fine on December 13, 2008

I’m away on vacation until the middle of next week, which is why I’m only now getting around to blogging about what looks like will happen to MediaNews Group’s Detroit News and Gannett’s Detroit Free Press. Per the Wall Street Journal, more or less confirming what Jim Hopkins’ sharp Gannett Blog previously surfaced:

But the leading scenario set to be unveiled Tuesday calls for the Free Press, the 20th largest U.S. newspaper by weekday circulation, and the News to end home delivery on all but the most lucrative days — Thursday, Friday and Sunday. On the other days, the company would sell single copies of abbreviated print editions at newsstands and direct readers to the papers’ expanded digital editions.

This squares with what a clutch of top newspaper executives told me some months back were likely near-term possibilities for major American newspapers:

They say big metros also are discussing a wide range of other radical notions. Among them: making home deliveries only on certain days of the week, shrinking additional weekday print editions, and even cutting out paid papers entirely on certain days of the week in favor of a smaller and free product.

What Detroit’s dailies may do is huge news—and what’s possibly huger news is that there are many close observers of American newspapers who won’t find the news surprising, given all that’s gone on in 2008.

I’m back in the office next Thursday. Posting will range from “nonexistent” to “light” until then.

Reader Comments

mediadavid

December 17, 2008 7:39 AM

A couple of serious questions.
Do you expect other big city dailies to follow this or a similar pattern soon?

I know the economics of daily newspaper delivery are failing, but how exactly does this help? It would seem that if they lose the daily paper revenue and can't replace it with online revenues pretty quickly, they could be entering a death spiral.

Ed Kohler

December 20, 2008 3:54 PM

I'm surprised that Monday's aren't a lucrative day considering how much sports action happens on the weekends.

Michigan-Matt

January 5, 2009 9:11 PM

Wow, I didn't know that the DetNews and DetFreep were still publishing?? Gosh, a printed tabloid that sells much more than it tells you is still economically viable?

I guess that makes sense. Afterall, there are lots of suckers in Michigan... we voted for Granholm, helped elect Obama, picked Kwame Kilpatrick over a field of far better men and are still saddled with US Senators Levin and StupidCow (Stabenow) and we still think GM, Ford and Chrysler are worthy of salvation.

I guess the DetNews and DetFreep have found a pool of suckers... I mean customers.

J.R.Levi III

March 17, 2009 7:30 PM

I think a metro area such as large as in a city such as Detroit should have at least one newspaper that reports local and southeastern michigan news worthy headlines that are community issues, along with national and world headlines

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