A new 24/7 WallStreet report says that, over the last few weeks, the newspaper industry has entered a new period of decline. The parent of the papers in Philadelphia declared bankruptcy as did the Journal Register chain. The Rocky Mountain News closed along with the Seattle Post Intelligencer, owned by Hearst, and Hearst has said it will also close The San Francisco Chronicle if it cannot make massive cuts at the paper.
The report includes a list of the 10 major daily papers that are most likely to fold or shut their print operations and only publish online, chosen based on the financial strength of their parent companies, the amount of direct competition that they face in their markets, and industry information on how much money they are losing. Based on this analysis, it is possible that eight of the 50 largest daily newspapers in the United States could cease publication in the next 18 months, according to The Center for Media Research.
The Philadelphia Daily News… with newspaper advertising falling sharply, the city cannot support two papers and the Dally News has a daily circulation of only about 100,000. The tabloid has a small staff, most of whom could support the web operation for both of the city dailies.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has filed for Chapter 11… It could become an all-digital property, but supporting a daily circulation of over 300,000 is too much of a burden.
The Miami Herald, which has a daily circulation of about 220,000… There is a very small chance it could merge with the Sun-Sentinel, but it is more likely that the Herald will go online-only with two editions, one for English-speaking readers and one for Spanish.
The Detroit News is one of two daily papers in the big American city badly hit by the economic downturn… cutting back the number of days that the paper is delivered will not save enough money to keep the paper open.
The Boston Globe is losing $1 million a week… Boston.com, the online site that includes the digital aspects of the Globe, will probably be all that will be left of the operation.
The San Francisco Chronicle. Parent company Hearst has already set a deadline for shutting the paper if it cannot make tremendous cost cuts. The online version of the paper could be the only version by the middle of the 2009.
The Chicago Sun Times is the smaller of two newspapers in the city… and has no chance of competing with The Chicago Tribune.
NY Daily News is one of several large papers fighting for circulation and advertising in the New York City area. Based on figures from other big dailies it could easily lose $60 million or $70 million and has no chance of recovering from that level.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram is another one of the big dailies that competes with a larger paper in a neighboring market… The Star Telegram will have to shut down or become an edition of its rival, The Dallas Morning News.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer is in one of the economically weakest markets in the country. The Plain Dealer will be shut or go digital by the end of next year, concludes the report.
But a recent report from PewResearch says that fewer than half of Americans (43%) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot.” Even fewer (33%) say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available.
However, 56% of regular newspaper readers, says the Pew study, say that if the local newspaper they read most often no longer published, either in print or online, it would hurt the civic life of the community a lot. 55% say they would personally miss reading the paper a lot if it were no longer available.