Can A Newspaper Survive By Only Printing Twice A Week?

from the what's-the-goal-here? dept

Romenesko points out that the Madison Capital Times, in Wisconsin, is not just putting more emphasis on its internet operations, but it's also cutting back on the print paper to the point of only coming out with a printed paper twice a week. Reader Joel also sent this in, saying: "A newspaper's web site gets its credibility from the daily publication. Without that it's just another news web site, and anyone can put up a web site. I think they need a reputable daily publication, even if it sells poorly and loses a little money, to give the web site legitimacy." I mostly agree, though, if you can successfully do news just online, paper could be a pretty big waste. However, in this case, it's unclear what benefit the "twice-a-week" strategy really provides. It will probably upset those who really liked reading the physical paper each day, and will do little to attract new readership. If they wanted to really bet on the web, why not make the bet complete? Going halfway by making the paper version less valuable doesn't seem all that compelling.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jeff, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 1:49pm

    From Madison

    Being from Madison, this was a pretty interesting development. For the most part, nobody reads The Cap Times anymore. It is owned by the OTHER newspaper in town (The Wisconsin State Journal); though its (The Cap Times') focus tends to be solely local (Madison-only) in nature, where the Wisc State Journal is more general news.

    I think the WSJ wanted to keep the pure local perspective, but is turning it into a more "community website" than a traditional newspaper. Correspondingly, this will probably open a NEW market for TCT (young, computer-savvy folks) while alienating its current reader-base (aging hippies).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Gunnar, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    I don't think Slate has a print version, and it feels credible.

    Any news site is credible if it has original, factual material.

    If there isn't enough news to fill a paper every day without a lot of wire copy, I think printing twice a week is a great idea. Most news isn't time sensitive. Who broke what first only really matters to competing newspapers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Geekazine, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 2:20pm

    Cap Times

    There is one point you are missing on this one. The Cap Times will turn into a Tabloid, and will be part of the Wisconsin State Journal - which is also created by Madison Newspapers. They're not really getting rid of a paper, they are condensing 2 papers into 1 as well as enhancing their web presence.

    I don't read the Cap Times. I think it's a good idea to get things more interactive and still have a print version. Also the focus turns on the Morning paper (Wis. State Journal).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Ian, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 3:00pm

    paper once a week

    You have to understand this newspaper has a morning addition called the Wisconsin State Journal (7 days a week). The Capital Times has not been a very usefull paper for some time in my opinion. It is just a re-hash of the morning addition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    troy, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    why bother?

    I'm 38, would never subscribe to a printed paper. My children will never. I explain to my mother sometimes how the concept of printing old news on paper and carrying copies house to house to throw into the yard, already sounds antiquated. Last time I tried to read a printed newspaper (because it was all I had to read at the time) I was overwhelmed with the printed ad space. It's a dinosaur. It had it's day, was awesome in the right time, but that time has almost fully passed. I am more current on all current events, local and global, with online news reading. No print needed for me to feel that the site is credible. I'm not very green by my nature, just practical, and it seems a waste to keep printing old news on paper and delivering it with carbon-based fuel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    WyRm, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 5:02pm

    Ours Work

    In my home town we have a daily paper and paper that comes twice a week the twice a week is free also. I do not read the daily one but read the twice a week one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Esmeralda, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 5:29pm

    The Way We Were...

    Hard to imagine that daily papers once came out twice a day, morning and evening editions. In my short lifetime, I've gone from being a daily multiple newspaper subscriber/reader to a strictly online news consumer. I hate newsprint on my hands, the waste that comes with having no easy way to recycle newspapers, and the general clutter that follows newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Feb 8th, 2008 @ 5:33pm

    I don't subscribe to our local paper, but will sometimes pick one up at the market on a Sunday if it looks good, as they are not really online. But the rest of the week is a joke, and even the paper offer Wednesday and Sunday, and Sunday only subscriptions. So they're saying that they realize that the rest of the week is crap, rofl.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Gary, Feb 11th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    2x a week

    Our local paper is delivered once a week. There are two papers in our county and both are weekly papers.

    pretty common in rural areas

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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