Print is dying

What if? … The NY Times ended its daily print edition

8 min read

Stop the presses! (For 6 days a week!) … Yes, I’m being serious. The recent New York Times “Innovation” report, a meant-to-be-internal strategy document proposing a (long-overdue) digital-first future for what is arguably the best newspaper and digital news operation on the planet, painted a depressing picture. Despite beefing up its digital business and creating…

Money wall

Paywalls in my back yard: A forecast for newspaper business models

7 min read

It’s now been many years that I’ve been writing and opining about “paywalls” for news websites. It’s not a subject that’s going away, although living in the Boulder-Denver, Colorado, media market, I haven’t had to deal with paywalls myself. Until now. Both the Daily Camera (my local newspaper/news website in Boulder) and the nearby and…

Ted Diadiun vs. John Kroll: Plain Dealer face-off

2 min read

Here’s the video promised by Cleveland Plain Dealer Impact Editor John Kroll (representing the paper’s online/digital side) having a follow-up debate with Reader Representative Ted Diadiun about some disparaging comments Diadiun made toward bloggers and Internet news sites during a previous video chat, which generated quite a bit of heat. (Original link on This…

Paid web news = Fail! I offer a softer alternative

3 min read

My May Editor & Publisher Online column was published today — “Getting Money from Readers Who Won’t Pay for Online News” — and it’s mostly getting positive reviews so far. I make the case against daily newspapers’ shift toward charging for local news on their websites, and suggest an alternative: paid memberships that work…

Tired legs and catching up

1 min read

Yeah, I’ve been playing hooky quite a bit lately. In the previous couple weeks I’ve mountain biked 4 days on Utah’s famed White Rim Trail, then succumbed to an invitation from a friend to drive to southwestern Colorado and ride some great trails near Cortez and Durango for 2 days. (Fellow mountain bikers: You have…

How can newspapers help Google?

5 min read

What goes around, comes around. … Sometimes when you’re having trouble coming up with a solution to a difficult problem, it helps to turn things upside down and get a new perspective. I’d like to see the newspaper industry, especially the big metro dailies which are in the most trouble and closest to collapse, look…

Personalized newspapers in space in 2259!

1 min read

Take heart, newspaper aficionados and media curmudgeons. You’ll still have the comfort of the printed newspaper as you travel in space in the year 2259! (Well, that assumes you’ll be getting cryogenically frozen and are revived in a couple centuries.) Credit my friend and colleague Christopher Ryan for spotting this look into the future. Chris…

The power of Craigslist: bringing people together

4 min read

Last night I was reminded of the power that digital media have of bringing people together. My wife and I attended a birthday party for our friend, Bud, who chose the occasion to hold the debut public concert for his basement band, tentatively called “Doc Hollywood.” He rented the Altona Grange Hall north of Boulder…

Rocky’s farewell video

1 min read

A poignant video goodbye from Rocky Mountain News staff. If you love(d) newspapers, or grew up reading the Rocky as I did, it’ll bring a tear to your eye. The staff did a great job on it. Personally, I’m feeling a combination of sadness and anger. The latter is because this didn’t have to happen….

All eyes on Detroit newspapers: Don’t muff it, guys

5 min read

I’m looking forward to Tuesday, when Detroit’s newspaper executives apparently will unveil a bold new plan to save themselves. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “the leading scenario set to be unveiled calls for the Free Press, the 20th largest U.S. newspaper by weekday circulation, and the News to end home delivery on all but…

Serving your former customers

1 min read

My May column for Editor & Publisher Online is up: “Serving Those Who Don’t Read the Print Edition.” It’s a riff on how newspapers need to figure out how to serve the increasing number of people who are dumping their print habit and halting subscriptions to the paper edition (and serve those for whom printed…