..is that they never asked technologists for suggestions to move into the Digital World.
Here's a quick example:
Given that subscriptions NEVER fully covered the cost of producing and distribution, then we have to ask what they did.
They provided a metric used to set advertising rates - the number of unique addresses (street) that subscribed. Not the number of readers. The digital world provides the same (and more) information for free - the number of unique addresses (IP) that 1) return daily; 2) return multiple times per day; 3) are new; 4) read Sunday only. These numbers could also be used the same way to set advertising rates. Of course, there would have to be more than 2 ads shown every 30 seconds.
Analysis of the on-line activity would provide instant feedback on what articles/news/items were actually of interest. You really had no clue when you threw 40 pages out there of what was actually read. The web gives you that insight - and could certainly be an indicator of where to expend resources to garner more hits, higher metrics, higher rates.
Customer inclusion would foster even more growth. Social sharing increases number of new IP hits.
But no - we're gonna block feedback, add costs, add malware, and demand the Good Old Days back.
And if this stands, then how many other governments can just declare wealthy people in the US as guilty under their laws and seize their assets? That's one way to go after facebook, google, whatsapp, and all the others they don't like.
Businesses come and go with the change in Technology. Some adopt, some die.
The typewriter enabled a lot - including the "Typing Pool" where Exeuctives used to fish. Technology replaced the typewriter with the word processor, and the typing pool has vanished from business.
Town Criers used to be the source of news - but they were repaced by the newspaper which anyone could read. But news papers were (quite literally) "Yesterdays News". The web now provides INSTANT access to newswothy events.
Before the web, the only way for information to be shared was via printed form. Businesses came into being to fulfill that need - Academic Publishing was one of those businesses. Since the 1960's with the advent of ARPANET and its successors, universities were the focus for sharing information directly, in real-time. However, storing large amounts of data was extremely expensive, and moving large amounts took a long time with the early speeds. Books were still the better option.
Today, that is no longer true. Data Storage is extremely cheap; networks (even here in the US) are quite fast; and the abiltiy to index content and make it searchable has matured. No longer do researchers need weeks to wade through volumes to find what they seek; a simple query can return links to the relevant documents in milliseconds.
The publishing industries are NOT about publishing - they are only about control, and that control is gone. Unfortunately, it appears to have been a fan of Dylan Thomas and is not going gently into that good night.
Authors no longer need to pay to have their works published; they can do so for free - and anyone can review it and comment (unless the comment section is closed - like the minds behind closing it).
When Authors start revolting over the publishers and the control they so love - they will realize that a publisher putting their work "out of print" puts them "out of income". It doesn't matter if the Copyright term will last another 80 years - a book that can't be bought produces no income.
Just like the typing pool or town criers - the journals are no longer "needed". Sorry folks - but you had a good run. Its over.