And on the seventh day, the presses rested

Kim Fletcher in the Guardian predicts the death of the Sunday paper in the UK. The problem there is that Sunday papers have separate staffs — thus added costs — and in the case of the Guardian, a separate brand: The Observer. The problem, Fletcher says, is that news is not just daily anymore — it’s constant online — and so how does a weekly rhythm fit into this new music?

In the U.S. most Sunday papers operate with the same staffs as the daily. When I was Sunday editor of the New York Daily News, I saw continuing efforts to dedicate reporting staff to Sunday, efforts that failed as the hands were recruited to work on daily stories. So the inefficiency of a separate Sunday staff is not really an issue here. And I don’t fully understand why it is an issue in the UK; Sunday’s just another day, only fatter.

But I do wonder about the fate of the Sunday paper from our end of the press. I don’t read Sunday papers anymore. I spend the weekend catching up on reading many sources, including Sunday papers, online. Sunday’s best business reason to exist here was classified advertising and with that shriveling like a year-old grape, they are less profitable. Oh, they’re not doomed yet. As long as papers still print, they’ll likely print on Sundays. Saturday papers face a more dire fate here, since they are not bought and have little advertising. But I have to wonder whether the tradition of the fat Sunday read is in doubt here as well.