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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

May 1, 2009 / Toby Dayton

Busy Week For Daily Newspaper Bad News…

Headlines on the declining newspaper industry this week (and a few old ones from prior weeks…)

AP is ramping up its threats to shut out Google from its content. This just assures acceleration in the decline of the dailies and the AP as a content provider on the web. Why is it so hard for newspaper companies and their associations and trade groups and industry consortiums to understand how the web works?

• The Baltimore Sun laid off 61 people in the newsroom

• Mark Cuban has more advice for the dailies – get your subscribers credit card number on file and start finding ways to charge it with every imaginable product or service the dailies can deliver. The concept of upselling consumers/readers/subscribers has been maybe the most basic of business concepts that newspapers have never, ever integrated into their model. Have you ever, ever heard of a newspaper upselling anything to its readers? Other than the weekday/weekend split, the only other thing I can think of is the New York Times kids magazine (which is an excellent periodical, by the way).

Newspaper circulation continues to plummet, dropping 7.5% for the 6 month period ending in March.

• Lest anyone think that declining interest in news is contributing to the death of the dailies, it’s not. Bloomberg announced this week that it is adding 950 people to its news operation around the world.

Bill James on newspapers: It’s back to 1836 all over again (thanks Gunnar)

• According to a Pew Research Center survey, 15% of Americans are completely oblivious of the plight of the dailies. That same survey found that 43% of Americans feel stongly that their communities would be negatively impacted (“a lot”) by the loss of their local daily newspaper.