Small Business Marketing Update - Metro Newspapers Are Becoming A Dying Breed

With the latest round of employee layoffs at the Florida Times Union, there is much speculation as to how long will the metro paper remain in the Northeast Florida market in its current form.

Even with the paper's reduced the size and number of sections, the newspaper is still edging up its subscripion rates in order to help stop the financial bleeding. But if subscribers are unhappy with the changes or questioning the paper's future, how many are resubscribing, at best, for the shortest 13-week rate in anticipation of the paper's end?

The newspaper industry as a whole has been hemorrhaging and no one seems to know how to stop it. At a recent symposium in San Franciso, keynote speaker Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School, reported some startlingly revelations about the future of metro papers.

After decades of study, Cole has precedicted that metro papers have about 5 years of existence left. He believes there will be four to five American newspapers left standing, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Cole told John Obrecht, the editor of BtoB magazine in a featured article, that "instead of counting down the two-newspaper towns (in 1900 there were 600 U.S cities with two newspapers, there are now six), we're now counting down the no-newspaper towns."

Cole said in the article "30 years ago teenagers didn't read newspapers but started to when they got into their 20"s and 30"s. Today they don't read the newspapers and evidence is clear they never will.

"The sad truth is that everytime a newspaper reader dies, he or she is not being replaced by a new reader."

As one elderly Jacksonville subscriber commented "if the newspaper goes away, where will we go to check the obituaries?"
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