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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

January 8, 2008 / Toby Dayton

2008 Daily Newspaper Death Toll: 2

In what I predict will be among the most significant media trends in 2008 (see 2008 predictions here), the struggles of the daily newspaper industry in the U.S. are going to deepen considerably and dailies will, in increasing numbers, abandon their printed format and opt for an online-only delivery service, migrate from a daily paper to a weekly paper, or shut down entirely. While this will be seen most predominantly in smaller communities and those metro markets with more than one daily newspaper, things will get increasingly dire as the year progresses, culminating ultimately in a large metro market losing its sole daily paper altogether.

This week, the Ocean County Observer, a 150 year-old daily serving Toms River, New Jersey and the surrounding area, announced that it would be switching from a daily to a weekly publication. It’s the second such announcement already this year (I’m counting the Cincinnati Post announcement as a 2008 event). The New Jersey newspaper, owned by Gannett, cited changing reader habits, a challenging advertising environment, and increased operating costs as the primary reasons for the decision. Gannett also owns another paper that serves the area, the Asbury Park Press. So while the decision does make some sense, there is no question that the darkening storm clouds over the industry are no longer just menacing; they’re becoming fatal.

[tags]Daily Newspaper Death Toll, Dailies Switching to Weeklies, Newspapers Migrating Online, Presses Being Shut Down, Communities Without a Newspaper, Ocean County Observer, Cincinnati Post, Gannett[/tags]