U.S. newspaper industry struggling
"Print is dead," Sports Illustrated President John Squires told a room full of newspaper and magazine circulation executives at a conference in Toronto in November. His advice? "Get over it," meaning publishers should stop trying to save their ink-on-paper product and focus on electronic delivery of their journalism.
Rare is the paper these days that is not embracing the Web. In addition to their own sites, papers such as the New York Times, the Miami Herald and the Houston Chronicle e-mail free headlines and news summaries to people who don't have time for the newspaper but carry BlackBerrys and other electronic gizmos.
In December, The Washington Post Co. bought online magazine Slate from Microsoft Corp. to increase the paper's Internet footprint.
"I could argue pretty forcefully that the free model and the non-newsprint model is what we're looking at in the future," said San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein. "Things are moving far quicker than we thought a few years ago" to new outlets besides ink-on-paper.
The San Francisco Chronicle is an example of the changeover underway: Its daily sales have dropped in recent years, but its Web site boasts more than 5 million unique visitors a month.