Here’s an interesting Associated Press story on Aaron Kushner, who made a run at buying The Boston Globe a few years ago and ended up with the Orange County Register instead. Kushner is betting the ranch on a print-centric approach, adding pages, improving color and — get this — pumping up the paper’s investigative-reporting capabilities.
People who wish to subscribe online will pay the same as print subscribers, Kushner says, because “the value of the journalism isn’t any less. The reporter isn’t paid any less. The photographer isn’t paid any less.” Well, OK, but the production and distribution costs are a lot less, aren’t they?
At a time when the newspaper business can’t find a way to fix itself, there’s no sense in mocking Kushner’s backward-looking approach. My suspicion is that he may enjoy some short-term success, though this is clearly no way to build for the future. But let’s see what happens. I doubt that he’s given up his hopes of buying the Globe some day, so this could be a rehearsal.