Monday, February 23, 2009

Going to mornings?

OK, I'm starting to get dueling information on the immediate future of the Flint Journal. After my post about the reduced publication days discussion that went on at the going away party for an editor I received some counter information from a source in another newspaper department.

What the folks in the non-editorial departments are hearing is that while ad $$ are down, things have leveled off financially at the Flint Journal and the next change will be a switch to a morning paper, instead of the current afternoon delivery. At least that's what the bosses are saying.

The Flint Journal has long resisted the trend to mornings because reader surveys have always shown a preference for the afternoon paper. Now, this source from the non-editorial department tells me, a recent Journal reader survey shows a reversal of that trend and now people are more interested in a morning paper.

It would make sense as the paper's early deadlines make it a morning paper in reality. Pages close for editorial updates about 8 a.m. anyway so it would be a natural switch to mornings. It will cause some shift changes for people in editorial, but if the purpose is to retain as many readers as possible, maybe a good thing.

They are also hearing that the current FJ publisher may be on his way out or off to a new assignment as well.

Speaking of papers going to mornings, here's a story about another such move:

Going to mornings


Anonymous said...

Seems like a natural move to get papers in faithful readers' hands as early as possible, and then update online all day, which they're going to do anyway. Why not. Plus, it takes fewer dedicated copy editors to produce AM papers than PMs because you have all day to work on the paper before it gets put to bed at 1am. I know; I've worked at both. Do Features/advance at the beginning of the day, and then hop into live news at 8pm or so.

With the Detroit papers ceasing every day home delivery, that adds fuel. I was told years ago that the Detroit papers' morning presence in Booth markets ensured that the Booth papers would remain afternoon products so they were somewhat updated (at least) over what Detroit put out.

Not sure how plausible this print cycle is with places that have other print commitments, such as NYT, to take care of in the middle of the night, but one assumes it's doable across Booth. If it keeps them in business, good.

inky said...

The Flint Journal is considering switching its publishing schedule to mornings? Wow, management must have recently spent some time in the 1980 wayback machine.

Anonymous said...

They should have done this 10 years ago.

Anonymous said...

If the goal is to cut costs, and that's been the case at all papers, going to an a.m. does virtually nothing. I can't imagine it would spur any new advertising or other income.

You'd still need the same number of reporters, editors, salespeople, delivery and press workers. Seems to me that limited publication is infinitely more likely than going to morning delivery.

Anonymous said...

Virtually nothing but sell more papers each day.

At some point the FJ needs to put as much effort into selling ads and newspapers as they have cutting costs.

Any FJ salespeople here?

How have you been treated by the FJ in the past five years?

Anonymous said...

what is usa today doing to stay alive?