Monday, July 6, 2009

Shrinking newspapers, disappearing magazines


Overheard at the grocery store this weekend, a man who had just picked up a Sunday Chicago Tribune turned to his female companion and said, “The Trib used to be so much thicker.”
He’s right. The Sunday Chicago Tribune used to land with a mighty thud on driveways and doorsteps across Chicagoland. But that was before the Great Recession. Now the major metropolitan newspaper is struggling to make money. It’s gone through a couple of redesigns, shrunk its news hole and laid off a boatload of staffers.
A sad state of affairs for a once top-flight newspaper.
A June 24 article in Editor & Publisher noted that more than 100 papers in 32 states have dropped at least one print edition per week in the past year. A few have gone online only.
Also, 279 magazines ceased publication in the first half of 2009, according to MediaFinder.com, a database of U.S. and Canadian periodicals. During the same period, 187 new magazines launched. (See report in Media Daily News.) Major titles that folded in the first half included business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio and music magazines Blender and Vibe.
Fans of print publications can only hope for the end of the recession and the return of advertising spending to help the industry.

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