Newspapers & the Web

People are still reading newspapers these days. It is just that more and more of them are reading the newspaper online.

The Houston Chronicle is still "the seventh-largest daily metropolitan newspaper and is eighth-largest on Sunday", according to an Audit Bureau of Circulations report (5/2/2007 H.Chron., p.3D). Chronicle Publisher & President Jack Sweeney is quoted as saying "There's still plenty of demand for a compelling local newspaper delivered to your door every day." The same article continued "online readership of newspaper sites continues to grow....Over a seven-day period the Chronicle and chron.com reaches more than 2.3 million people - or 59 percent of the market....When you add online, direct mail, free publications, and the Spanish-language product segment, the Chronicle footprint of products extends its reach to over 64 percent of the adult marketplace."

Not bad. Especially when there were naysayers that predicted the death of newspapers now that we have the Web.

A number of newspapers recently have entered into a partnership with Yahoo! In fact, a consortium of major "newspaper operators" was announced in November 2006. "In addition to Hearst and MediaNews Group, the consortium includes Belo Corp., Lee Enterprises, Cox Newspapers, The E.W. Scripps Co. and the Journal Register Co.

Other major-market daily newspapers involved include Hearst's San Francisco Chronicle; and the Denver Post, the Dallas Morning News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Rocky Mountain News.", according to chron.com archives.

Yahoo! HotJobs wanted to extend its reach from its online listings into the rich classifieds of various major metropolitan newspapers. The newspapers wanted to extend their reach from their local communities to enable their local readers to do nationwide job searches. Win-win solution!

The first result is the HotJobs partnership. "The partnership...aims to combine local listings from about 170 newspapers with the wide reach of Yahoo's HotJobs platform...."(again, according to chron.com).

"The deal eventually will expand to involve other types of advertising - from real estate to cars to merchandise - that can be sold to advertisers a la carte or in package deals involving print, local newspaper Web sites and Yahoo.

"By joining together we'll create a huge national advertising network," George B. Irish, president of Hearst Newspapers and senior vice president of Hearst Corp., said on a conference call with reporters." (chron.com).

Most newspapers allow people to read their content free (yes, there are plenty of ads). The Wall Street Journal, however, knows how valuable its content is and has been able to build a 931,000 subscriber base while charging $79 to $99 annually to read the WSJ online. (Houston Chronicle 2/5/2007, p.3D). But it is definitely the exception to the general trend these days.

Personally, I still subscribe to the Houston Chronicle and enjoy having it delivered to my home daily. But I had worried that someday soon might come a day when my newspaper no longer appeared on my doorstep because too few people read newspapers anymore in the online age. So I am delighted to see that newspapers have found their place in this Internet mix of online and print where each has a valuable contribution to bring to the other. And I do use the online chron.com *archives a lot, too! (*Paid subscription not required, just a quick registration & an email address.)

For more information see:

  • chron.com
  • Yahoo!
  • Yahoo! HotJobs
  • Audit Bureau of Circulations
  • Press Release about new consortium
  • Laying the Newspaper Gently Down to Die (March 29, 2005 blog entry)
  • Wall Street Journal
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    Last Modified: 8/1/2007