Monday, August 03, 2015

Glens Falls daily continues its death spiral

Here’s a headline you won’t read in the paper: Post-Star jacks up newsstand price by 50%.


Yes, the Glens Falls daily is now charging $1.50 for its daily product. I assume the Sunday paper, with its extra fluff and higher price, will face a similar price rise.


I was told by people I know that the paper yanked up their home delivery rates pretty significantly earlier in the year. The people cancelled their subscription after about 40 years of uninterrupted service.


Why doesn’t the Post-Star follow the advice it dispenses from its high horse to municipalities, counties and school districts. Just tighten your belt, mark hard choices and cut the fat, rather than jacking up what you charge. They make it sound so easy. Lead by example.


Your paid readership is shrinking so you jack up rates by 50%. The technical term for this is a death spiral.

I spent the last week in northern New York. Reading the Massena-Potsdam Courrier-Observer, I was struck by the fact that it contained virtually no wire service copy, aside from one or two sports items. It was almost entirely local content.

This unique content that can't be found for free in 100 other places is exactly what a newspaper in the 2015 media landscape should focus on if it wants people to pay money for its product.


But there’s no reason to think we can expect such forward thinking – really no more than common sense and a little bit of openness to change - with the Post-Star’s current senior management.

After all, I wrote almost the same essay five years ago.



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