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Ohio Newspapers Trim Tuesday Publication Instead of Jobs

February 04, 2009 11:58 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
To cut costs, three newspapers in Ohio have decided to eliminate the Tuesday edition of their paper, as it is the day with lowest ad revenues.

Tuesday Too Expensive for Three Ohio Newspapers

While some papers are slashing their staff, three Ohio newspapers are choosing to cut a day of publication rather than cut more employees. The three papers—The Troy Daily News, Piqua Daily Call and The Sidney Daily News—will no longer print a Tuesday edition in order to save money in light of the troubled economy. All three papers serve western Ohio.

Publisher Frank Beeson told the Associated Press that Tuesday is the weakest day for ad sales, thus the least lucrative day for the papers. Each newspaper will aim to put more content online.

Background: Other publications also struggling

Newspapers across the United States are facing flagging sales and advertising due to the prevalence of free online content and a faltering economy. Many publications have suffered so badly that they have been forced to restructure their finances, file for bankruptcy or fold altogether. Others have looked for funding in unexpected places. One journalism professor suggested that newspapers might begin approaching civic foundations and private donors for philanthropic aid.

In December, Tribune Co., one of the nation’s largest newspaper publishers (controlling the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. and Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Va.) sought bankruptcy protection, due to a $13 billion debt and a loss of advertisers.

The New York Times Company, which owns and controls The New York Times, accepted $250 million from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú in exchange for shares; the newspaper has seen a drop in advertising sales and is currently carrying $1.1 billion in debt.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune officially filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-January after talks with major unions did not yield a series of labor concessions the paper said would be necessary to sustain it economically. The Star Tribune plans to continue publishing news as it restructures its finances, however.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently went up for sale. The only other paper in the city, the Seattle Times, may also shut down; if both publications were to close, Seattle would be the only major U.S. city without its own newspaper.

On Feb. 15, The Baltimore Examiner will cease all publication due to poor ad sales. The free paper served as a counterpoint to the Baltimore Sun, which is typically a more liberal paper. The Examiner has been trying to cut costs since last year by reducing copies printed and limiting home delivery to two days a week. It has also been seeking a buyer for many months, but to no avail.

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Related Topic: Failed magazines

Things are so bad for print media that Adverstising Age has published a Guide to Magazines That Have Ceased Publication. The list includes the publications that closed down in 2008 and some that are scheduled to shut down in early 2009. Most of the magazines were targeted at specific groups, such as teens, Latinos, gamers, children or women.

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