Skip to comments.Reluctantly, a Daily Stops Its Presses, Living Online [Dinosaur Media]
Posted on 04/28/2008 4:03:16 AM PDT by Aristotelian
With print revenue down and online revenue growing, newspaper executives are anticipating the day when big city dailies and national papers will abandon their print versions.
That day has arrived in Madison, Wis.
On Saturday, The Capital Times, the citys fabled 90-year-old daily newspaper founded in response to the jingoist fervor of World War I, stopped printing to devote itself to publishing its daily report on the Web.
(The staff will also produce two print products: a free weekly entertainment guide inserted in the crosstown paper, The Wisconsin State Journal, and a news weekly that will be distributed with the paper.)
An avowedly progressive paper that carried the banner of its founder, William T. Evjue, The Capital Times is wrapped up with the history of two larger-than-life Wisconsin senators, the elder Robert La Follette (whom it favored) and Joseph R. McCarthy (whom it opposed). But in recent years, the papers circulation dropped to about 18,000 from a high in the 1960s of more than 40,000.
We felt our audience was shrinking so that we were not relevant, Clayton Frink, the publisher of The Capital Times, said in an interview two days before the final daily press run. We are going a little farther, a little faster, but the general trend is happening everywhere.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
You've got to admire them for taking the bull by the horns.
Ever watch a herd of gazelles look at a pride of lions feasting on a freshly killed gazelle?
The end of an era
Panicked newspapers seek salvation. Will the Cap Times find it on the web?
Marc Eisen on Thursday 04/24/2008
Good luck, Cap Times. You’ll need it. Converting from a six-day-a-week paid paper to an online news site is like jumping from a very high cliff into a very deep and mysterious pool.
The paper might be killed. Or it might be transformed.
One thing’s for sure: The Capital Times that Madison has known for 90 years will be gone. Online publishing is a fundamentally different proposition for both journalists and readers. Experts consider it a classic disruptive technology that reorders daily life for just about everyone it touches and destroys what was thought to be a durable economic model for the eclipsed technology.
Newspapers won’t die off as quickly as slide rules did when calculators were introduced, but the changes under way are so epochal you’d be foolish to believe anyone who speaks confidently of what publishing will be like in 10 years.
“Nobody knows anything,” as veteran screenwriter William Goldman famously said of the secrets to successful movie-making. The newspaper business is even more in the dark as to how it will make its next buck.
Well, it depends. Last chat I had with an insider at our local paper it came out their view was to put the same nonsense into new digital formats.
I observed no one goes to their internet website for ANYTHING.
Not movie times or reviews, not restaurants, not obituaries, and CERTAINLY not for news or editorial commentary.
He just gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look.
They JUST do not get it.
Gotta love that word "progressive". Just wondering if anyone knows if the 'crosstown' Wisconsin State Journal leans a little either way. Safe bet they are more conservative?
Trees everywhere are happy.
The more liberals you have in a city, the more likely the freeloaders will drive the local newspaper into the ground.
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