The Future of Newspapers?

Much has been made about the demise of newspapers. Circulation dropping. Layoffs. Ad revenue declining. Furloughs. Classified sales freefalling (why pay to list your rental apartment in the newspaper when Craigslist is free?). Pay cuts.

Many wonder, and rightfully so, if there will actually be print newspapers in 10 years. The vast majority of newspaper readers are older folks who are probably scared of the Internet. What’s going to happen when the Web-savvy generation (who might not have grown up with a newspaper in the house)  gets older?

How bad has it gotten? The New York Times Co. bought the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Sixteen years later, it’s worth about 10 percent of that ($110 million) after posting more than $50 million in loses last year. Wonder why the NYT decided not to sell it afterall. Who wants to take a 90 percent loss?

Anyway, The Sporting News might be on to something. The sports publication has lost some steam over the years (not even a major player sports news outlets anymore) but seems to be on track with giving Internet users a print newspaper. Huh? Exhibit A: Sporting News Today, the world’s first digital daily newspaper.

Found on The Sporting News Web site and at sportingnewstoday.com, it’s a handy, interactive digital newspaper that’s easy to navigate, has all the scores and analysis from even the latest of the night before’s games and everything that’s going on in the world of sports, all while looking like a beautifully designed, full color print newspaper.

Is it going to save the publishing industry? Probably not, but it’s a good stepping stone to a modern, technical-savvy business that is in dire need of a fresh new concept to survive.

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