Archive for August 24th, 2010

How newspapers are – and aren’t – diversifying

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Media critic Alan Mutter uses a McClatchy newspaper as the negative example in a post on his Newsosaur blog about how large newspaper publishers are diversifying to survive in the new media world.

“While papers like the Kansas City Star continue to pursue the traditional model of publishing only the main title and a free once-a-week advertising product sent to the homes of non-subscribers, the ABC [Audit Bureau of Circulations] reports that papers like the Chicago Tribune and Dallas Morning News have created such a wide variety of products that the flagship paper produces just 56 percent of the average weekday circulation in each of their respective markets,” Mutter writes.

As circulations fall, “foresighted publishers are creating niche products to try to capture readers who historically were unlikely to buy the legacy newspaper – and, of course, the advertisers who covet them as customers,” he adds.

The Tribune and Morning News both publish periodicals aimed at young adults and those who prefer to read Spanish-language publications. The Tribune also publishes a free tabloid written by and for teenagers, and the Morning News delivers a free, weekly TMC, or total-market-coverage, advertising product, like many McClatchy papers produce.

Mutter predicts that the once flagship, general interest newspaper will eventually become simply one product among several niche publications that successful publishers produce.