Monday, February 2, 2009

Why newspapers can’t stop the presses

Alan Mutter writes:

Contrary to some of the ill-informed articles you might have read lately, almost every newspaper company still needs to print newspapers if it wants to stay in business.

Although the idea of paperless newspapers ricochets around the blogs with some regularity, fans of the concept recklessly disregard the economic realities of the publishing business as it exists today. So, we’re going to do a little math in a moment to prove:

A. Why it would be suicidal for any reasonably profitable publisher to stop its presses in perpetuity.

B. Why a paper going to digital-only publication would have to eliminate roughly half of its editorial staff to achieve even a modest profit on that operation.

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