Jun 3, 2009

Four today

1. In a semi-secret conference last week, newspaper execs at the American Press Institute looked at ways to start charging for online content. Nieman Lab got hold of the official report. Nieman Lab

2. "Readers" is too passive. We're all "users" now. Ad Age

3. The Great Connecticut Alternative Weekly Outsourcing Experiment - three alt weeklies in Connecticut decide to test how an edition written by Indian journalists compares to home grown. Hartford Advocate

4. Robert Rector ponders a Pew poll that finds Republicans are happier than Democrats. Robert Rector


Anonymous said...

If you are a newspaper employee or just a reader, take a look at the document in the original post regarding the NAA meeting for online. As one would expect from the NAA, a group that has long been and still is virtually worthless vs the membership fees, no new information or insights.

As a matter of fact, if most newspapers had desireable content readership of the daily product would not have declined so drastically the past few years. Desireable content that people will pay for online is a fairy tale.

As far as bundling the print and online subscription model...I don't think that decade or longer idea has worked out to well in the advertising arena. Why would it work in the subscription arena?

Most newspapers have moved the revenue marbles around to show growth in online revenue, when, in fact, they are just taking some of the print revenue and counting it as online revenue. The same would happen with a bundled subscription.

If these are the leaders in the industry, and this is the best they can come up with, it is time to say bye bye.

There is not a future in paid content for online for most newspapers. If I am wrong, I will be happy to say so. Let's keep track and see how this plays out.

Anonymous said...

It is a good thing these executives didn't plan D Day...at least no one here gets killed by their ineptness...you just lose your opportunity to earn a living doing what you like to do.

Anonymous said...

NAA is a joke. Completely agree with that point. Pay for online content? Not sure about that. But my question is, what is the answer? I continually see on this blog that execs are stupid and can't figure it out. Okay, what is the answer? And please, "if most newspapers had desireable content readership of the daily product would not have declined so drastically the past few years" is just as ridiculous as the ideas coming out of NAA.

Anonymous said...

I've always liked the online approach long used by a small weekly paper where I used to live. The first graph of each story from the entire edition was posted online, and underneath each graph: "To see the rest of this story, read it in this week's newspaper."
Not sure what can be done, however, for the dailies.

Anonymous said...

There are a number of solid ideas that can work. First, one has to be realistic. Newspapers will never return to their glory days prior to 1991.

But, you can deliver the paper on time and have a solid circulation department. You can pay sales reps properly, and for the desired behavior. You can hire leaders that have some vision on the sales front with creative revenue ideas. There are a number of them still out there not being used today.
You can hire reporters that will cover the news their readers are asking for...a novel idea, ask readers and non readers alike what is important to them. You can do all of this without spending an additional dime...as a matter of fact, you might even make some money. These are a few no brain ideas that can be put in place and there are many more.

Forget these group love fests. Figure out what works for your newspaper. Designing a plan by a group doesn't work. Let's see, because readers in St Louis want this, then, readers in Encino must want the same thing.

Forget trying to out do experts online. They will win. It is not your core skill, you are not set up to compete, and they move faster than a slow snail uphill. Stick to what you do best. That doesn't mean you abandon online. Play with it, sell it, attract readers etc. You may actually hit on an idea that works.

There are a number of opportunities out there. Executives charged with running an operation shoud realize that, or admit they don't have a clue and find another business to "run" poorly.

One company just sent out a memo to staff saying that the watering of plants will now have to be done without an outside contractor...this is in the same week that over 300 people were let go. Brilliant leadership. I am sure you langers out there have numerous instances that approach this one.

Newspapers Next Rules said...

This NAA-bashing is contemptabibble. I challenge all of you naybobbers to dig out your Newspapers Next PPT, all 1,000-plus slides, grok it and IMPLEMENT the recommendations. If you would only follow the Newspaper Next guidelines, we'd be out of this pickle and back in the marigolds.

Anonymous said...

I would, but little eddied took all the newspapers next manuals with him to San Diego. That alone should be enough to turn that place around.

Wonder when big wind will join him?