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Dec. 12, 2008, 5:19 p.m.

Detroit’s plan: Risks, but rewards?

The Wall Street Journal (subscribers only) comes closer to confirming the Detroit newspapers will stop home delivery most days of the week:

The publisher hasn’t made a final decision, said this person, but the leading scenario set to be unveiled Tuesday would call for the Free Press and its partner paper, the Detroit News, to end home delivery on all but the most lucrative days — Thursday, Friday and Sunday. On the other days, the publisher would sell single copies of an abbreviated print edition at newsstands and direct readers to the papers’ expanded digital editions.

I’ve mentioned that I think this is a worthy response to the current crisis: Certainly nothing you’d want to do in a perfect situation, but a way to redirect cuts from the newsroom to production costs.

I had planned to contrast Martin Langeveld’s positive take with Alan Mutter’s pessimistic one. Two very smart guys, disagreeing on a plan of action a lot of papers are going to take in the next few months. But now I see that Martin’s summed up both sides — plus a few others — in a post of his own. Make that your weekend reading.

Joshua Benton is the senior writer and former director of Nieman Lab. You can reach him via email (joshua_benton@harvard.edu) or Twitter DM (@jbenton).
POSTED     Dec. 12, 2008, 5:19 p.m.
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