By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More ideas on saving the Globe

At the Nieman Journalism Lab, Martin Langeveld has some smart ideas for saving the Boston Globe. The one idea over which I disagree with him strongly is that the Globe should move away from a daily print edition. Langeveld writes:

My prediction is that, ironic as it may seem, Pat Purcell’s Boston Herald will be left as the only daily paper in Boston, and that the Globe will evolve into something different. That doesn’t mean the Herald wins, because in the long run, daily print is just not a sustainable business model anywhere. Or almost anywhere, if we want to hedge that bet a little.

Hard to disagree, but it all comes down to how you define “the long run.” Newspapers still make most of their money from print. Yes, is the Globe’s most important news vehicle, but the print edition is still where the money is, and will be for some time to come.

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  1. hightalk

    Dan, print is dead as a method for delivering news. What we're witnessing is its death throes. There's no reviving the patient (have I carried this metaphor too far yet?).While I understand that the web models haven't proven profitable yet – it will come. In 10 years there will be few newspapers left still dumping a bundle on your front door step.George Snell

  2. Dan Kennedy

    George: Ten years is a long time. For now, and for the next few years, print is where most of the revenues are going to come from. That can't be ignored.

  3. Treg

    I used to think print was pretty much dead – the internet came along and rocked my world. But now I'm not so sure. As much reading as I do online every day, I still like having the newspaper around the house. And if I get a Kindle, it won't be to replace that, either.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Treg: Three years ago, everyone said print was dead. These days, there's a lot of rethinking going on.

  5. acf

    Some 20 years ago, I used to work in IT for a major insurance company, and the veep in charge of the division swore that we were headed for a paperless business, with everything handled by online reports. Well, that didn't happen. Instead, the computer enabled the creation of multitudes of new reports, and users still wanted to have their hands on hard copies for easier reading and archiving. We ended up using more paper than ever. I don't say that to deny that print newspapers will be going the way of the dinosaur, just to point out that what you think will surely happen soon, won't necessarily occur.

  6. Treg

    acf – Same experience at the venerable old bureaucracy where I work. In that instance, I think it's a shame and very wasteful, because so much of our data and reports are so much better to view and work on and store online.But in the case of newspapers, I think it's a good thing. People want something they can carry around, sit and read without batteries or a hot spot, then toss in a recycle bin. Not to mention all the other household uses that have evolved for newsprint. What am I supposed to put my wet boots on when I get home?

  7. mike_b1

    "While I understand that the web models haven't proven profitable yet…"Not entirely true. Certain niche groups are doing quite well. But to the point, are you really saying it makes good business sense to stop doing something that DOES generate revenue (and operating profits) in favor of something that 1) generates less revenue and 2) is NOT profitable?Shareholders LOVE that.*sarcasm*

  8. rozzie02131

    Look, newspapers are not dead. They aren't healthy, but here are some facts. Total viewership of the 11 PM news, all Boston stations combined: 591,000.Total newspaper circulation of the Globe, Herald, and Patriot Ledger: 508,000.Total morning drive radio audience, all Boston stations combined: 423,000.There is a lot of life in the newspaper business.

  9. InsiderNegot

    As rozzie and Treg point out there is a market and people still want it. The real question for newspapers is whether they can get the advertising necessary to support them or whether those who want it will pay a premium. Every newspaper that stopped the print edition and gone to a strictly on-line model has seen a loss in their online readership.

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