Is a newspaper really daily if it is only delivered to subscribers three days a week? The JOA that operates the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press is expected to make a big announcement today and one option under consideration is making four issues per week available only online and in news boxes.
Word leaked out in both newspapers last week that David Hunke, CEO of the JOA, Detroit Media Partnership, had told employees that big changes were to be announced this week. Although it was not clear that a final decision had been made, Hunke was considering a reduction in the home delivery days to cut costs. It would be the first time that dailies in a major US city did not deliver to home subscribers every day of the week.
If that is the route chosen, the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press would only be delivered to people’s homes on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, the days that produce the most ad revenue. Thin papers would still be produced on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, but sold only on news stands and in sidewalk boxes. People would be encouraged to go to the newspapers’ websites instead for news updates.
The Free Press is owned by Gannett and the Detroit News by MediaNews Group.
RBR/TVBR observation: If this really happens, the obvious question is “why bother?” If you’re trying to make your website the main delivery vehicle, go all the way. Stop killing trees. We can’t imagine that many people will want newspapers on their front lawn just three days per week.