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On a rough day for American newspapers, investors aren’t buying Gannett’s story and Tribune’s not done chopping
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Dec. 12, 2008, 6:53 a.m.

Morning Links: December 12, 2008

— Barry Ritholz writes about Newsweek’s plans to become more like The Economist. He points out the tension inherent in the shift:

…what’s unique about the Economist is that it speaks with one editorial voice. There are no bylines at the Economist…Newsweek, on the other hand, is [a] magazine that can barely contain its internal tensions…So the issue with Newsweek’s new strategy isn’t whether the magazine is becoming more like the Economist but whether the cacaphony of strong wills and strong opinions won’t make it more like the old opinion magazines — The New Republic and National Review — or to be more up-to-date with the comparison, more like the Huffington Post.

— Lots of buzz about the Detroit papers’ possible restructuring. I wonder about the rumors that suggest one of the papers might abandon home delivery on some days but still distribute to single-copy boxes. Seems to me that if you abandon home delivery, you might as well abandon single-copy — since the whole point of retrenching is to save costs on printing and distribution. If you’re still running the presses and still running trucks out to boxes, it seems the savings are less. And Detroit doesn’t strike me a particularly good market for single-copy. Still, I’ll be glad to see someone try something a little different at this point, although it’ll probably mean more pain for good journalists at the papers. (Congrats to my former Toledo Blade colleagues Jack Lessenberry and Sandi Svoboda for being first with the rumor.)

— I think Jennifer Saba is right here, that consolidation of newspaper companies won’t, in general, lead to significant savings.

POSTED     Dec. 12, 2008, 6:53 a.m.
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