Newspapers shrink, one expands

January 2, 2013

While most newspapers throughout the state are shrinking, one California newspaper owner has chosen to increase quality and content. [Huffington Post]

The Orange County Register has increased its community news section nearly five-fold, added more investigative reporting and about 75 journalists since Aaron Kushner bought the paper in July. Kushner believes people will pay for high-quality news.

His views buck a current trend of slashing costs by offering smaller papers and shrinking staff while charging online visitors. The model increases revenue while papers lose about 60 percent of their online readers.

While most papers charge a smaller amount for online clicks, Kushner plans to begin charging online visitors the same price as those who read paper copies in March.

“If you have a wonderful restaurant and it cost $10 to come in the front door, I’ve never understood why it should cost anything less to come through a side door,” Kushner told the Huffington Post. “The value of the journalism isn’t any less. The reporter isn’t paid any less. The photographer isn’t paid any less.”

 


8 Comments

  1. abigchocoholic says:

    Yes, except ( to use your analogy ), the restaurant down the street giving it away is a Greasy Spoon vending week old hot dogs.
    Not the same as a choice prime rib at a clean place with good service.
    ——————————–
    I agree to a large part. But agreeing means nothing. People’s actions are much louder than their words and they have, over and over, settled for the Greasy Spoon with their actions. In the same way that at the same time people bash Wall Mart, Wall Mart’s parking lot is full 16 hours a day while the wonderful, full of character mom and pop store up the road dies a slow, painful, tortuous death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. pasoparent5 says:

    “Kushner believes people will pay for high-quality news.” And that is why on a local level, the Trib is doomed. Click on their website and have a laugh: “We hope you continue to enjoy the quality journalism produced by The Tribune…Membership options start as low as $.99″

    Talk about desperate. “Quality journalism”??!! ha ha Their paper is extremely biased and they refuse to investigate anything until CCN or other outlets do the legwork.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

      Alas, I must confess that I did my own investigation on why anyone would pay $.99 for a look at the Trib. The investigation found no sane reason to do so.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  3. r0y says:

    “The value of the journalism isn’t any less. The reporter isn’t paid any less. The photographer isn’t paid any less.”

    True, however, you have much less overhead for digital access than hard-copy. A printout always costs more than a webpage update. Afterall, the paperboy isn’t tossing flashdrives on my driveway every morning…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    • abigchocoholic says:

      that’s just the supply side.

      Look at the demand side. It’s a whole new world. Demand for “pay for” newspapers is down hugely.–all due to the internet. Even the article acknowledges that once they go “pay for”, they will lose 60% of their existing readership. And that means advertisers will pay much less for advertising space because the ads reach 60% fewer people.

      Bottom line: It’s a brutal market for newspapers. Just ask the hard copy yellow page makers–that is if you can find one as most have gone bankrupt.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  4. abigchocoholic says:

    “If you have a wonderful restaurant and it cost $10 to come in the front door, I’ve never understood why it should cost anything less to come through a side door,” Kushner told the Huffington Post. “The value of the journalism isn’t any less. The reporter isn’t paid any less. The photographer isn’t paid any less.”
    ———————–
    wow, are you serious? The obvious answer is because before no one was giving away the restaurant. Now, the entire world is giving away the restaurant. It’s called the internet.

    Your business model went from “your going to pay for a restaurant so choose mine because….” to “please pay for my restaurant even though you can now eat for free down the street.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    • Slowerfaster says:

      Yes, except ( to use your analogy ), the restaurant down the street giving it away is a Greasy Spoon vending week old hot dogs.
      Not the same as a choice prime rib at a clean place with good service.

      In a race to the bottom, the ‘winners’ are guaranteed to be At the Bottom.

      We’ve gone from Walter Cronkite being the Most Trusted Man in America to schlock ‘news’ outfits like NewsCorp and Faux Noise peddling propaganda and lies; or ‘infotainment’ about the latest doped out celebrity with a crotch itch.

      Bravo for Mr. Kushner !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    • R.Hodin says:

      There never was a business model for web news publishing that was in the black, not until Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal and put up a pay wall.

      Free was the mantra of the early internet, and the publishing suckers jumped on board by the boat load. Nobody wanted to be left behind, in case there actually was a profit model. Problem was, the “free” for newspaper publishing meant they were subsidizing with their print ads, and when craigslist, youtube & social media came along people stopped buying those papers with print ads, and stopped clicking on those annoying animated banner ads, and any future for that subsidy model collapsed before it even manifested.

      I’m fine with the Tribune putting up a pay wall. I think every news site should have some revenue coming from its readership. If you don’t pay anything, you take it for granted. We took quality news for granted for decades when it was broadcast on TV, and look where we are now: Murdoch orchestrating even more media consolidation, and the FCC bending over backwards to accommodate him. We are totally scrwed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Comments are closed.