It’s a product you have to go and get in the rain, snow or wind and pull out of the hedge, the leaves or a coin-eating box on a dirty street corner. It’s heavy. It’s big. You’re not interested in 90% of its content. And when you’re done with it, you — literally — have to wash your hands and figure out how to properly dispose of the thing.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations is coming out with its report on newspaper popularity (what else should we call sales) and it’s going to be bad. The Wall Street Journal (free link) sums up the numbers:
: Gannett down 2.5 percent
: Knight Ridder down 2.9 percent
: Tribune Company down 4 percent (not including scandal-scarred Newsday)
: “McClatchy is breaking its 20-year winning streak this period. Daily circulation dropped around 1% while there was a “steeper decline” on Sunday.”
: Knight Ridder’s breakdown: down 2 percent daily, 3.5 percent Sunday.
: Belo’s Dallas Morning News: down 7 percent.
: Providence Journal down 2 percent.
: Riverside Press-Enterprise down 3 percent daily, 4 percent Sunday.
: Boston Globe down 7.7 percent daily, 7 percent Sunday.
: NYTimes up 0.4 percent daily, 0.1 percent Sunday. “The increases came mostly from the paper’s national effort. Circulation for the New York City area declined.
Well, the good news is that NBC is going to stream its nightly news online. The bad news is that they’re going to do it three and a half hours after the show airs in the east…. for the obvious reason that they don’t want to piss off west-coast affiliates. Still, can’t they all see the absurdity of this, on its face: Old news is not news, it’s just old. Why didn’t they give the affiliates all the right to show the news on their own sites? Why didn’t they all say that if they can get anyone under the age of 60 to watch their news anywhere anytime, they should thank their lucky news stars. This is why the future of news cannot come from the past of news: It is weighed down with deals and issues and precedents and contracts like Marley’s ghost.
David Kline finds the ideal Christmas present for the age: The Playmobil airport security toy. Surely, I thought, this must be a joke. But, no, it’s really on the Playmobil site. Coming soon: subway bag checkers… Guantanamo interrogators… FEMA ice trucks…