Nieman Foundation at Harvard
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Dec. 17, 2008, 11:41 a.m.

Bob Giles on the Detroit newspapers

Bob Giles is (a) my boss here at the Nieman Foundation and (b) the former editor and publisher of The Detroit News. So I wanted to get his views of the Detroit newspapers’ massive announcement yesterday that they would no longer be offering home delivery seven days a week. Here’s our 11-minute conversation, in which we discuss:

— The benefits of having two Detroit newspapers, even if limited in distribution, over a single 7-day-a-week paper;
— The role of the 1990s Detroit newspaper strike on the papers’ current situation;
— What not publishing on Wednesday tells us about ad revenues;
— The kinds of cost savings the newspapers could achieve with the cuts;
— Why Detroit is a better single-copy town than you’d think;
— Why The Oakland Press is a player to watch.

Also, thanks to my sub-par camera placement, you get to see a lot what appears to be Bob’s enormous right thumb.

Joshua Benton is the senior writer and former director of Nieman Lab. You can reach him via email ( or Twitter DM (@jbenton).
POSTED     Dec. 17, 2008, 11:41 a.m.
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