While there’s little new in his article, Ahrens manages to tie together a bunch of pieces of recent news: the rise of free tabloids, falling circulation, rising web readership, and the possibility of charging for online editions. Indeed the graphic from Ahrens’ article certainly paints a scary picture for the industry (and has very amusing illustrations of how Americans now get their news).
Perhaps the biggest problem facing newspapers, though, is the changing societal routine:
“You can’t take a half-hour to read the newspaper and eat a bowl of cereal in the morning. People aren’t eating cereal anymore, either. I know — I have General Mills as a client. People are eating yogurt bars on the way in to work,” said Steve Lerch, a newspaper advertising buyer.
But before those Posties on L Street start filling out the resumes (may we suggest Monster.com or Craigslist.com rather than the Post help wanted ads?), Ahrens concludes with some good news: “Newspaper companies are by no means close to extinction. Most large companies continue to report healthy profits, and ad revenues appear to be picking up.”