When it comes to audience, the American newspaper industry looks a lot like the Republican Party. Consequently, its business reversals parallel the deepening Republican national electoral woes. The newspaper audience looks remarkably like the arithmetic that put Mitt Romney on the losing end Tuesday and is forcing Republicans to self-assess how to move forward. The math is the math.
That’s where the newsonomics of this issue comes in. Milk the older, white, and male readership — as Advance has been accused of doing in New Orleans and elsewhere with its new strategy (“The newsonomics of Advance’s New Orleans strategy”) — and newspaper companies may stabilize profits in the short term. But fail to come to grips with the changing complexion of America, and revenues — circulation and advertising — will continue to dwindle. In fact, the changing demographics, in addition to digital disruption, help explain the sorry state of newspapering, both print and digital.
Of course, too blatant a play for readers among the emerging American majority looks just like pandering. The exact same bind facing the GOP.