Joe, Sit On This Pew And Eat Your Newspaper

Posted: 12/29/2008 by that's Elbert in Internet, News & Politics, web sites
Tags: , ,

I’m swiping some of Michael’s story and adding some to it. Read on.

If you’ve read the Salisbury News blog any length of time, you are well aware that its owner/operator Joe Albero wishes the painful demise of Salisbury’s Daily Times, the Salisbury area paper owned by Gannett. To illustrate his disdain, he frequently points out Gannett’s tanking stock, the Times’ poor coverage of local events, the low print quality from the Times’ new presses, and has in the past complained daily about the poor delivery service he received. Joe has to be salivating over these two news stories.

Frequent “E” contributor Michael Swartz has a post about a recent Pew Research report, pointing out the fading influence of the printed page with younger adults:

…the internet has overtaken the newspaper as a main source for national and international news. More striking are the figures for the Millennial Generation (ages 18-29) where the internet and television are dead even as a news source – 59% of young people cited one or both as a main news source.

Let’s add a practical application of Albero’s desire for demise, which comes from the Daily Times’ corporate counterpart to the north. The News Journal is making some adjustments to their printed page:

In an extraordinarily difficult economy, The News Journal is moving to a more compact format.

With this happening to the News Journal, whom I’m sure has a greater coverage area than the Daily Times, what might lie ahead for Albero’s favorite newspaper?

Joe, wipe the saliva off your chin.

  1. Michael says:

    I don’t know if he’ll be drooling that much – he’s running out of people and things to pick on.

    But it’s tough for newspapers in general and honestly the Daily Times could become the Twice-a-Week Times if not for whatever AP stories they use as fill along with features.

  2. The Daily Times’ pervious owners (and I think their current owners) bought up a number of small area weekly papers. I have wondered what would happen to those papers if the Daily Times thinned out by cutting content or publishing days. Would they look at consolidating some of those weeklies or deleting them altogether. That would be a shame.

  3. Joe Albero says:

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the younger people are doing everything via the Internet. I saw an opening years ago and went for it and there’s no question our readership has put a major hurting on the Daily Times. The big scare for them is the day I start selling advertising. I’ve been doing it Italian Style for years now, a very slow and painful death. When they are at their weakest point, I will then introduce advertising and results like they have never been able to offer their current clients.

    Here’s the interesting thing I learned about the Daily Times. Their numbers are so screwed up it isn’t funny. They sell their advertising by page views. I don’t care what you click on or comment about, every time you click anything it’s another page view. The way Salisbury News is set up now, 2 days worth of articles are one page, unless you click on an article to comment and so forth. However, the entire article is there for you to read, without the old, “Read More” link like so many other Blogs and Websites have. That drives those page views way up. Anyhow, more than a year ago I was talking to Greg Bassett and we were talking numbers and I thought he was talking about hits. All of a sudden he said, Page Views and I though, hell, I’ve got almost as much as they do, how could that be? Anyhow, I knew right then and there that we could easily compete and probably blow them away just by changing the format of the Blog.

    Now, would that be fair? According to GA, many sell their advertising based on page views and I personally think that’s a bunch of crap. I believe each Site should simply give their customers results. Look at the Humane Society as an example on Salisbury News. In one day, ALL of the animals are adopted and many others that weren’t posted are also adopted out, many of which the general reader doesn’t know about. I’ve advertised companies on the Blog for friends in the past and each one of them asked me to take it down because they were over booked in no time. Anne Taylor from Parker Place on the Plaza had the same experience recently with closing out her Oriental Rugs. Not only were the customers going in there and telling them they saw it on Salisbury News, they were buyinmg them out so quickly it wasn’t funny.

    So when the time is right we’ll probably start advertising but we’ll start off slow and show some serious results for advertisers without overloading the Site and eventually over time we’ll go full throttle and put the kiss of death on the Daily Times.

    Thanks for the article E. As for Michael’s comment, get used to it Michael. Many Newspapers will be a thing of the past and those who stay afloat will be a luxury item like the USA Today. Car Dealers and Real Estate Sales won’t be able to afford to continue doing what they did in the past, so Newspapers are going to disappear fast. The Daily Times could hire me for a few years and keep things going but unless they make one hell of an offer, they’re going down. You’ll see.