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Weallneedhistory

The Press Monopoly

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I searched the Forums and couldn't find if this had been discussed before. I'll be shocked if it hasn't, and if so, I'd like to see what people said. Does anyone think the GR Press will ever have a serious competitor again? The Herald left us in May of 1959, and nothing I am aware of has taken its place. I am not knocking the Press...I enjoy reading it, and although there is always something better the next city over, I think they do a decent job. However, if we are to ever become a "big city" don't we need at least one more newspaper?

What do you think the odds of this ever happening are?

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well even if we were to have two newspapers, the circulation on them combined would be laughable compared to " big cities"

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http://www.ojr.org/ojr/business/1078349998.php

And at a Newspaper Association of America research conference in 2001, John Bartolomeo -- of Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo -- warned that just 9 percent of 20-to-29-year-olds will read weekday newspapers in 2010.

The effect of this trend on the newspaper industry has already been sharp. The combined weekday circulation of all U.S. dailies has dropped from 62.8 million in 1985 to 55.2 million in 2002. Just in the years since the start of the millennium, most major U.S. dailies have seen their weekday circulations drop between 1 and 4 percent.

Many believe these trends, if unchecked, herald a death knell for the printed newspaper industry within our lifetime. "By my calculations," Meyer archly remarked, "the last daily reader will disappear in September 2043." Most other analysts predict the demise will be sooner.

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There will always be readers, I think. It's more of a matter of when the number of readers is too small for the companies to make any profit, or when content in dailies suffers enough from low readership to make receiving the dailies pointless.

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Theres just so many other avenues now to get news and information that the daily newspapers is being phased out.

While its sad to see them go, getting rid of the newspaper will further decrease our dependency on paper.

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If the content was good, then a 2nd paper would compete with the Press or replace it. Somthing with a USA Today style could work. It would also have to be smaller in physical size. I could also see it being released bi-weekly just to keep cost down. It just cannot be an exact Newspaper clone. It has to be something that has some reread value.

And please no wacky over-the-top political propaganda, in the form of a newspaper, like we had from "The Paper" back in the late 90s.

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Printed newspapers may die, but I'd bet on the web to replace them. You'll always be able to read news as opposed to simply watching it. The Internet will be a huge money saver over the cost of printing, though it's been hard to get people to actually pay for a paper online yet. If the Grand Rapids press had a nice, useful web site that contained everything in the printed version, I might be willing to pay for it. MLive.com is not very impressive as far as online newspapers go.

-nb

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If they would deliver just the content and not 5 pounds of glossy ads, I'd subscribe. I could probably heat my home with all the junkmail that arrives in my mailbox per day. I don't need to add the press to that pile.

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Last time I heard the newpaper market was on a downturn thanks to the internet, where I get most of my news anyway. So no. I don't think GR will see a competitor to give the Press a run for its money. However the Press does have all forms of electronic media to contend with.

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There has never been more competition in the media industry, ever.

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If they would deliver just the content and not 5 pounds of glossy ads, I'd subscribe. I could probably heat my home with all the junkmail that arrives in my mailbox per day. I don't need to add the press to that pile.

recyclebin.jpg

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The same people who predicted the "paperless ofice" years ago are now predicting that newspapers will disappear. That's kind of comforting. :thumbsup:

I peruse about 15 online newspapers during the day (shhhh, don't tell my boss...) but still like to read my paper & ink Holland Sentinel in the morning. I rarely look at the GR Press after work, since I already heard all the news by then, and they insist I get it "free" with my Sunday paper.

The trouble with the newspaper -- especially Sunday -- is that a subscriber has to "take it or leave it".

On Sunday, for instance, I toss over half of the GR Press into the curbside recycling bin before I sit down to read it. Those advertisers think they're reaching a certain number of people, but I wonder...

All the jobs and real estate sections are just a waste of paper and ink to me. What I want is the first section, metro, lakeshore (I'm a Hollander), lifestyle, etc. Their business section is not worth reading and sports is a day old by the time it's delivered.

Then there are all those store inserts! Good grief. I NEVER open one of those. Wouldn't it be great to opt out? We do use the national coupons, but that's about it.

It's my hope that, someday, dailies will figure out how to deliver a "customized" printed newspaper to each home. Perhaps one could check off on a list of specific sections you'd like to have delivered. Wouldn't THAT be nice! I still do like the feel of sitting down with a newspaper, but the waste is abominable.

I think that's why a lot of "niche" publishing is not hurting like the dailies are. Subscribers get exactly what they pay for with no waste.

Back on topic...I don't believe a second mainstream daily ever will take hold in GR, but you can always subscribe to a neighboring daily like the Sentinel, or the Rockford paper for another take on local news.

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... "By my calculations," Meyer archly remarked, "the last daily reader will disappear in September 2043." Most other analysts predict the demise will be sooner.

If I am still around and able to read (at age 86), I will still be reading the daily paper...assuming one is still published.

Something about that newsprint, seeing the creative page layouts, turning the pages...I can take it with me, go outside, put it away for later. I've saved particularly interesting or funny clippings, columns, comics in file folders (guess those will be extinct, too!) for decades. Since I stare at a CRT screen all day at work, it's a joy to stretch out with my daily paper in the evenings. I like looking at headlines in the newsboxes. I've never spent much time with McPaper USA Today because there is no there there.

(Now if my purveyors could just get their delivery systems straightened out...)

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As a former newspaperman (sexist, I know, but that shows how long ago I was a reporter), I love papers. At home, we get the NY Times, LA Times and the LA Daily News (and read about 1/4 of the total).

Unfortunately, there is no way that GR will support a competitor to the Press, for all the reasons noted above. The Press itself is probably feeling the pressure from online classified services (yes, classifieds are a huge moneymaker for most papers) as well as the generational shift from print to the Internet. And, as the area grows and traffic becomes more difficult, it is becomes harder and more expensive to distribute an evening paper. I am surprised that Advance hasn't moved the Press to a morning publishing schedule on Monday through Friday.

Are the Chicago or Detroit papers any competition? I recall that the Free Press once tried to move in on the West Michigan markets, without much success. The Trib, while it includes West Michigan in greater "Chicagoland," never seemed to have much interest in GR.

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