Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

UK newspaper publisher to cease Saturday editions in pursuit of digital products

Mark Fletcher
November 15th, 2019 · No Comments

US newspaper publisher McClatchy announced yesterday plans to cease printing Saturday editions of some of their titles. This story fromMarc Tracy at the The New York Times:

McClatchy Says So Long to Saturday (Print) Newspapers

Subscribers to The Miami Herald, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Charlotte Observer will no longer find a newspaper at the end of their driveway on Saturday mornings.

McClatchy, a newspaper chain with more than 30 publications in 14 states, said on Wednesday that it planned to eliminate Saturday print issues at all its daily newspapers by the end of 2020, though a new slate of articles will continue to appear digitally.

Craig Forman, the chief executive of the publicly owned publisher, announced the decision during a call with investors to discuss third-quarter earnings. He added that what he called “digital Saturdays” were already underway at four McClatchy papers: The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; The Bellingham Herald in Bellingham, Wash.; The Durham Herald Sun in Durham, N.C.; and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.

“In those markets where implementation has occurred, we are seeing an accelerated conversion to our digital products,” Mr. Forman said. “We expect to expand digital Saturdays to all of our markets during the course of 2020 as we advance toward our digital future.”

We need to look at all moves by newspaper publishers through the lens of driving engagement in digital product as that is their future.

If I  had shares in a newspaper publishing business, I’d want them singularly focussed on driving share value. Today, value will not be driven by sustaining print editions that are not even covering their costs. The future of news is on the digital platforms. While long form analysis works in print, not enough purchase this to sustain it as a daily or even several times a week medium.

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Category: Media disruption · Newspapers

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