Because of travel, I’m late in linking to Alan Mutter’s two–parter responding to my speculation about the post-press LA Times. Mutter is by far the best, smartest, and most-informed analyst of the financial state of papers and so I disagree with him at my mortal peril. Indeed, I’m delighted that he’s bringing out real numbers and considerations and hope we get down to such brass tacks in the New Business Models for News project upcoming. My response to Alan: I think that online up-sells in classified will disappear with classifieds and so that benefit of having print is quickly becoming moot. Some papers simply cannot afford the cost of print now and so they’d better figure out life post-print or there won’t be any. New competitors can come in without the cost of print and newspaper legacy and act far more nimbly in the market. And I argue that even if shutting off the press is off in the future, it is – in some form – inevitable and so papers damned, frigging well better plan on it (most I know want to perish the thought) and so this exercise and discussion is vital.
by Jeff Jarvis