Monday, December 03, 2012

COUNTDOWN TO FEBRUARY: Cleveland to Be Largest US city with no daily paper?

Last month we wrote here about the uncertain future of the Plain Dealer’s daily publishing schedule. 

Speculation about that future is now heating up even as the paper’s employees bask in the support of the nearly 6,000 readers who have signed their online petition in support of the PD's continued daily publication.

The paper's future is the subject of the December 2, Media Decoder column/blog in yesterday’s New York Times, which mentions that the “Save the Paper” campaign will be the subject of a party this Thursday at the Market Garden Brewery.

Last week former Plain Dealer reporter T.C. Brown, writing in the well-respected Columbia Journalism Review, examined the looming reduction of the PD’s footprint from the standpoint of its likely effect on political coverage in Ohio. While he is kindly disposed to the paper as a whole, his discussion of its owner’s track record is not reassuring to anyone who appreciates the value of a robust news organization. He makes a point of contrasting Advance Publications’s corporate preference to cut and slash staff and costs with that of billionaire folk hero Warren Buffett, who has been buying local newspapers with the intent to invest in them. Brown’s connection to the Plain Dealer helped him secure a number of interesting perspectives from the paper’s employees.

The latest publication to weigh in on the implications of the Plain Dealer’s likely shift to a three-day print schedule [Wednesday-Friday-Sunday?] is Crain's Cleveland Business. Our friend Jay Miller's front-page report, out today, considers the PD’s assumed print reduction from the standpoint of its advertisers. The headline of his article, “Ad buyers slowly see importance of daily PD wane”, unfortunately captures the way many readers feel when considering how local news coverage has been steadily diminishing.

Can you imagine the Browns finally winning the Super Bowl and the next day having to go find a copy of the Akron Beacon Journal for a hard-copy account?

Is there a bright spot in any of this? Well, The Real Deal intends to publish at least daily through the end of this year. So check back regularly even if you do not receive an advisory email from us. Of course the best way to keep abreast of our reports is to subscribe to our blog or become a follower, easy non-invasive options at an unbeatable price. See the top right of this page to make your choice.

Hope to see you back here tomorrow, at our oasis of reliable news and reasoned commentary.

1 comment:

George Williams said...

Thanks for the commentary and substance to help us think.