'The 9 lives of the Philadelphia Daily News (and why it'll have a 10th)'

A great piece out this morning by former Philadelphia journalist Rick Edmonds, now with the Poynter Institute, exploring in much greater depth a point that I made in my post last night that killing the Daily News would make absolutely no business sense. These points are fairly impressive:

The sports-heavy, working man’s tabloid picks up additional paying readers the Inquirer misses. For advertisers who want to reach an unduplicated 50,000 — and make a package buy in the two papers — that creates extra ad revenue.

I’ve been told that the Daily News has one of the highest percentages of single copy sales to home delivery among American papers. Some advertisers may want to target just that Daily News readership.

Also when the Audit Bureau of Circulations began offering a measure of readers per copy in the mid-2000s, the Daily News was first among 100 or so participating papers — by a lot. The paper gets around.

Besides tabloid zinginess, the Daily News offers some serious journalism — witness its Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting two years ago for an expose of corruption in the Philadelphia police narcotics squad.

There's also one more argument for saving the Daily News brand: Our reporters now drive a disproportionate amount of traffic to the Philly.com. This comes via email from my DN colleague, Josh Cornfield:

Among stories on the web between 11/1/11 and 12/26/11 (Monday-Friday only), 51 % of traffic went to Inquirer stories, 42% to DN, 5% to Philly.com, and 2% to AP. Among blogs, 40% to DN, 37% to Inquirer and 23% to Philly.com. So, despite [the Inquirer] having triple the staff, we were only 9% points off the Inky in terms of web traffic; and we beat them on blogs.

Also, for the handful of diehards following this story minute-by-minute, Ed Rendell went on 1210-AM this afternoon and voiced support for some kind of pledge of editorial non-interference. He also said the Inquirer should be "more fun" like the Daily News. My colleague David Gambacorta has the details.