Newspapers Are Committing Suicide

April/29/2009 19:46PM
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We all know the Internet is hurting the newspaper business. The economy is hurting ad revenue. Since all they print is left-wing liberal drivel they cut their market since some readers aren’t interested in the slanted perspective.

In the 6 months through March the statistics show The USA Today is down 7.5%. I am a subscriber to USA Today. I spend part of the year in IL and part in AZ. They can’t get the address change right. I go on line and use their address change tool. I set the date to stop delivery in AZ and to start delivery in IL. The start date was Monday. They don’t have it right on Wednesday. On Tuesday I received a mailed Monday’s paper. In both places I have always had home delivery. Every time I switch they try to use mail delivery. Every time I have to threaten to stop my subscription to get them to do it right. Now, if you were losing 7.5% of your business every six month, going broke, and worried, wouldn’t you get this part of your business right?

The Wall Street Journal is up 0.6% for the same six month period. Their track record is the same as the USA Today with my deliveries. They were to begin delivery on Monday. Still no paper on Wednesday. They, at least, mail the same day’s paper on the same day. But, my file, they acknowledge, says no mail, if you can’t get it to my driveway in the early morning, I’m not interested. This paper critiques how business gets done. Wouldn’t you think they would get their own business right?

There are many businesses in this country that have never learned how to do business in tough times.The golf industry is another.They have never gotten the customer aspect right. The PGA doesn’t teach how to do business. Club pros don’t do much right. For years this industry enjoyed boom times. Now, they are grossly overbuilt and demand is sinking fast. Courses across the country are closing every day. It’s too late to fix it. The next generation is not playing.

Newspapers have no clue why their business is sinking.They will all go out of business before they try. Again, they are run by newspaper people, staffed almost totally by employees of the same ideology, and clueless about modern business practices. I seriously doubt they do any consumer research at all. If they did, they would not have a workforce that all thinks alike. If they did they would be trying to appeal to a broader market. If they did, they would find ways to offset the Internet. If they did, they would resolve delivery problems to the few customers they have left.

The New York Times won 5 Pulitzer Prizes. Good for them. Maybe they can get the people who vote for the Pulitzer to pay a few million each for a year’s subscription. Otherwise, they will be gone. Maybe as soon as year’s end.

The Chicago Tribune has cheapened the paper under Sam Zell. It’s closer to the National Inquirer than the old Trib, the World’s Greatest newspaper. It’s more left wing. They are dead and don’t know they died.

Unless, of course, they get a bailout. Some in congress are already working on a bailout. Guess, those who only get favorable press can’t live without press media. Seems a little incestuous, doesn’t it? Support the Democrats in the paper and they get bailed out with your tax dollars.

If they get bailed out will the delivery problems get better or worse?

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