Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Making more less with less.

People won't buy a shoddy newspaper.

That's the official word from American Journalism Review, who posits that perhaps reducing your product offerings and scaling back your core business might not be the best way for newspapers to stay competitive.

Can newspapers really expect to recapture what they have lost with less circulation, a thinner newspaper offering fewer services to readers, with editorial products undermined in breadth and depth by layoffs and space constrictions? I think not. (If you ever hear a publisher vowing to do "more and better with less," run for the hills. Mies van der Rohe's "less is more" only works in architecture.)

You don't need an MBA to understand the idea that in order to grow your revenue, your business needs a product worth buying. The Press-Telegram and the city of Long Beach deserve better than what they've got right now. MediaNews surely believes that making more money is a good idea, and it's painfully obvious that cutting costs is a race to the bottom. Support your investment, or spend some time looking for someone else who will. It's a waste of time and money for everyone involved to do anything else.


Dave Bullock /eecue said...

The bottom line is that the readers don't care if a paper makes money for the shareholders. Only the shareholders care about that, and most of them don't care about news or good reporting. Trying to make more money for the board isn't ever going to produce good news.

Len Cutler said...

Maybe it's naivete, but I think better, more relevant reporting will put more eyes on the page (print or otherwise), leading to ad revenues, and happy accountants. Granted, the level of profit increase will probably never hit the kind of levels sought by a shareholder or a private equity firm - but a smart investor, one who understands the industry? I firmly believe they'd be more than pleased with the results of a long term strategy.

Kris835 said...

Newspapering is the only business I know that believes it can put out a continually lesser product and expect to even maintain, let alone grow, its customer base. What's the strategy?