More Gloom and Doom: Free Press Downsizes To 3-Day Week

Dec 16th, 2008 | By | Category: General

In what the newspaper deems a “groundbreaking” move, the Detroit Free Press and News announced that they are cutting home delivery to three days per week.

The Free Press and The Detroit News are the first first “big city papers” to make the shift from mostly-paper to mostly-online news publishing, citing a steep decline in advertising revenue and a dawning realization for its publishers that traditional news publishing is a “way of life that is going to disappear (for some newspapers).”

Dave Hunke, CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership, which publishes the Free Press, said that starting in spring 2009, both the Free Press and the Detroit News — which is also operated by the partnership — would deliver to homes only on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, which are the heaviest days for advertising. Paper copies of the newspapers will still be available all week long for single-copy purchase at stores, newsstands and coin boxes.

Trying to portray the changes in a positive light, the Free Press says the changes would “allow both papers to maintain their news-gathering forces, shift resources to their Web sites, develop new ways to deliver information digitally, [and] enhance multimedia offerings.”

The change from daily to 3x/week home delivery will result in a 9% reduction of its 2100-member staff, but will leave the current reporting staff intact. Newspapers throughout the country are scrambling to survive in a media universe in which more and more news is consumed online rather than on paper or television. Some newspapers are making across-the-board reductions in personnel as at the Des Moines Register. In the case of the venerable Christian Science Monitor, the newspaper is moving almost entirely to a digital-only format, with only a weekend paper edition. The New York Times announced last week that it is using its headquarters building as collateral for a $250 million loan. The Chicago Tribune, struggling under a $13billion debt, last week declared bankruptcy.

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No Responses to “More Gloom and Doom: Free Press Downsizes To 3-Day Week”

  1. Jerald Aldrich says:

    When you start reporting “news” every other day, it ain’t news anymore.

    It’s history.

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