Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Post-Intelligencer’

Launched in 1994, the “American Rider,” a bi-monthly magazine which targeted Harley-Davidson enthusiasts is folding.

The June issue will be its last.

Advertising is way down, newsstand sales are minimalistic and subscription rates are falling.  As a result the Affinity Group (Ventura, CA) reported their intention is to fold the content into the sister magazine “Rider” which reportedly has a monthly circulation of 140,000.  An on-line presence will continue, but three staff positions were eliminated due to the closure. Hopefully they’ll retain Clement Salvadori who is a contributing author with high quality and interesting articles.

The demise of American Rider has plenty of company.  According to this report there were 367 magazines which shutdown in 2009 and 67 went on-line only.  This number is much improved from the 526 magazines that closed in 2008 or the 573 magazines which closed in 2007.  According to this site which tracks magazine “death pools”, even the all powerful EasyRider and V-Twin publication were caught in combining their circulation numbers as “real” to advertisers and neglected to mention the blending.

It’s not just magazine publications.

One day I expect to open my front door and find a booklet with 4 tiny little pages.  This booklet will be known as The Oregonian.  It could well happen to the New York Times or Los Angeles Times.  They’ve all shrunk the height, the width…got rid of so much material that many question why newspapers are necessary.

The Rocky Mountain News is gone.  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, gone.  In fact, since January 2008 at least 120 newspapers in the U.S. have shutdown.  More than 21,000 jobs evaporated.

Be it magazines or newspapers, part of having freedom of the press is the freedom to let whoever is producing the best information be heard.  If that is bloggers then so be it.  To narrow down the parameters of what counts as “the media,” is restricting the press.  There is nothing that states that the NYTimes or NBC are valid news sources and for example the Cyril Huze blog is not.  The validity of a news source is based on their reputation of having produced accurate and responsible results in the past.  Reputable bloggers know this and work hard to abide.

Publishers will either need to change and accommodate the way people want their news, or fail.  That is the way the market works.

Photo courtesy of American Rider/Affinity Group.

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p-iTraditional media is dying in front of our very eyes.

The 146 year-old “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” (P-I) goes full Web tomorrow and becomes the largest northwest daily newspaper to go entirely digital.  Although it’s a shadow of the old printed paper it will now focus more on local news, with a much smaller staff.  And just last week, the Washington Post announced it was folding its stand-alone Business section, commercial news will now be featured in the main, first section.  Other papers like the Rocky Mountain News (now defunct), The Boston Globe, the L.A. Times and The NY Times are all having major economic problems.  Be it regular people wanting just the news or writing slants/styles that people want no part of – the news papers are going down.

This is unfortunate.  I believe the P-I did a good job and accurately reported on the Iron Pigs Sturgis shooting.   But,  let’s say you’re a major American motorcycle manufacture executive looking to hire a marketing wizard to get your news story in the paper, you might as well be paying for billboards on the space shuttle.  Your target audience isn’t going to see the story!

The “P-I” lost $14M last year on a 118K print circulation.  The web traffic is about 1.8M unique visitors a month.  It’s interesting to read about the writers and publishers as they scramble and complain that newspapers must not die and that people must pay and if not the public, then the government.  Sort of a “bail-out” rally cry for publishers. 

I agree that journalism must survive, not necessarily newspapers.  There’s often more meat, more truth in blogs who explain events than there’s been in a lot of the mainstream press.  Maybe because bloggers are at the center, they truly understand.  They are not only reporting, but they are LIVING the story as well!

While I feel sad for the 145 employees this turn of events will give the P-I opportunity to work on new ways of connecting readers, fans and pundits and maybe even develop a thriving new businesses along the way.

Photo courtesy Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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