Saturday, March 1, 2008

Free Manch daily to go weekly

In the "not another good sign for the newspaper industry" category comes news that the Manchester Daily Express, the free daily put out by the folks who produce the Hippo, has decided to go to a weekly. has the story here: ["Manchester Daily Express to become a weekly paper"]. The paper laid off two and moved some other employees.
What is so surprising about this is that of all places where a free daily could work, you would think Manch would be the place. Right now, there is a free daily in Laconia, but that is about it. I was only able to read the newspaper a couple of times, since I don't live in Manch and the newspaper isn't available in Concord. But I liked what they were doing.
Daily newspapers are, unfortunately, getting hammered out there. Hey, what am I saying, newspapers in general are getting hammered. The Boston Globe/Worcester Telegraph organization announced a cut of 80 employees last week. A few weeks ago, GateHouse Media, the company I work for, cut 60 positions.
It actually does not seem to be a good time to be working in media in general, unless you are a small operator who is in touch with local listeners and advertisers. Radio folks are getting let go all over the place. Citadel, the company that owns Disney Radio and ESPN Radio, posted an $800 million-plus loss and started butchering staff.
This all really, really sucks. It also makes me wonder if the non-profit media model forwarded by the Poynter Institute is the way to go for media companies. Yes, you have to make money, but do you have to make scads of money? What happened to journalism? The Poynter papers turned a 9 percent profit last year. Not enough to satisfy the ghouls on Wall Street. But because they are not traded on Wall Street, they don't have to worry about that. Nine percent profit is just fine. These days, anything above 0 percent profit is a good thing in my mind.

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