December 16, 2008

Detroit News and Free Press Considering Cutting Back Home Delivery, Focus On Web

News is coming from multiple sources that the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News may be ending daily home delivery and promoting their websites instead.

Courtesy of Yahoo Finance:
[The Wall Street] Journal said home delivery would be limited to Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with an "abbreviated" print edition available at newsstands on other days. Readers would also be directed to the papers' Web sites.

The changes likely would mean major job cuts, the Journal said.

The Free Press, owned by Gannett Co., had a daily circulation of 314,554 at the end of March; 618,324 on Sunday. The News, owned by MediaNews Group Inc., had daily circulation of 178,280. It does not publish a print edition on Sunday.

Bassett said the papers recognize the "tremendous importance of digital communication and finding ways to better deliver news and information to people in ways that are most convenient to them."

Reporter M.L. Elrick, vice chairman of the Free Press unit of the Detroit Newspaper Guild, said there's anxiety in the newsroom.

"Everyone here is afraid we're going to have staff cuts," he said. "I wish I had my sources call me as often as my colleagues have called the past couple days. No one knows where this is going to end up."

This news follows the growing trend started by the Christian Science Monitor, and more recently PC Magazine, of newspapers pushing towards digital. Unfortunately, this news from the Free Press and News, show the downsides of switching to a more digitally focused medium, as workers fear for losing their jobs.

Ultimately this decision, if made, will benefit the consumer by providing more up to the minute news, and easier delivery. Though it appears that the effect on the workers may be more negative, with job cuts and layoffs in their future. According to, the Detroit newspapers will have a major announcement at 11 am. This post will be updated with the breaking news as it happens.

Who knows, we might all be holding Kindles in our hands sooner then we thought...

1 comment:

Barry said...

Many people arguing over the pros and cons about this shift are missing some pretty big points. What happens when the news is no longer online either, or at least is no longer local, because no one will pay for it? Here's some thought provocation: