Is this the wave of the future? The two daily newspapers in Detroit, the News and the Free Press, will only deliver the paper to subscribers on three most popular days, Thursday. Friday and Sunday. There will still be slimmed down papers on the other days, available on newsstands. In theory, the move will also mean greater emphasis on delivering news online.
Some are hailing this as a bold move, but let's be honest: Necessity was the mother of invention here, just as it usually is what that other product that they used to make a lot of in Detroit. A truly bold move would have been to radically change the papers to adjust to the Internet back when they were still making profits over 20 percent, but instead "change" is the result of a near-death experience:
The decision to abandon seven-day home delivery in Detroit was not a bold strategic initiative but a last-ditch effort to save two failing newspapers, according to one former Gannett executive.
“The choice was to shut down or to try to salvage the newspaper,” said the former executive, who was familiar with the months-long deliberations earlier this year that resulted in the decision to scrap home delivery four days a week at the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.
The radical plan, which is likely to cost some 190 people their jobs by March, was not as much a carefully conceived business decision as it was an act of desperation, said the executive, who declined to be identified because he did not want to compromise continuing business relationships.