I've written here several times about the gloom & doom scenarios we often hear about the newspaper business. I've disagreed, saying newspapers continue to serve audiences and advertisers, not only in print but increasingly online. Eyeballs are eyeballs, whether they're scanning printed pages or scrolling down the computer (or cellphone) screen.
Marc Brownstein, who heads a small ad agency in Philadelphia, writes about this in the current issue of Advertising Age. In his essay "Stop writing those obituaries for the newspaper industry," he feels confident the newspaper business will survive and thrive. He says most of the newspaper owners are highly entrepreneurial and will figure out ways to run successful businesses.
He talks about the migration to digital and how papers are capturing readers and ad dollars online. He also points to specialty publications, where newspapers are leveraging their editorial staff and their strong distribution channels to deliver relevant product to readers and reach the people local advertisers need to reach.
I've seen this where I live in Westchester, where Gannett's Journal News publishes several standalone items like a restaurant guide, entertainment guide, a family health roundup, a local golf magazine and more. Of course, they have online versions as well, but it's the printed versions that I see on neighbors' coffee tables or pulled ouyt of a kitchen drawer to quickly get the number of an area resataurant or move theater.
So I'm right there with Marc Brownstein, believing newspapers will come up with ways to create and deliver product readers want, reaching people advertisers want to reach. They have to if they are to survive.