Tuesday’s big announcement in Detroit was indeed that the JOA for the city’s two daily newspapers, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, will deliver papers to home subscribers only on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, come next spring. That confirmed rumors that had leaked out ahead of time. Editions for other days of the week will be sold only in newsstands and sidewalk boxes. Readers are being urged to go online to get their daily news.
"The dynamics of delivering information to audiences has changed forever due to technology. Today, consumers are more empowered than ever before. In order to serve them well, we must find ways to be more nimble. That means we have to change the way we deliver that news – not just in subtle ways, but in fundamental ways," said Dave Hunke, CEO of Detroit Media Partnership and Publisher of Gannett’s Detroit Free Press. The JOA is 50/50 owned with MediaNews Group’s Detroit News.
The two newspapers say they will expand their digital offerings to serve readers. The newspapers bought in IDEO, a global design company, to help them understand how the people in metro Detroit use media and adapt their products for the future.
"These changes will allow The News to build on its 135 years of journalism. Our readers are busier and more mobile than ever, and we’ll provide coverage of every aspect of activity in southeast Michigan, making use of all the aspects of interactive newsgathering,” said Jonathan Wolman, Editor and Publisher of The Detroit News.
RBR/TVBR observation: Who’s next? Newspapers are desperate to cut costs in the face of rapidly plunging ad revenues. Printing on paper and delivery are huge expenses. But to cut those out, newspapers will have to come up with a very different business model based on Internet delivery and multi-media offerings.