Honey, I Shrunk the Newspaper

Newspapers are dying slow deaths of a thousand small cuts. Here’s the latest from the Richmond Times-Dispatch…

According to Executive Editor Chris Coates, beginning July 4, the RTD will switch to a “digital-only format” on the following holidays: Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day and Memorial Day.

Translation, the RTD will stop publishing its print newspaper on nine major holidays.

I’m surprised he left off Juneteenth.

Coates could have mentioned that the RTD will be in good company. The Wall Street Journal doesn’t publish on holidays either. Not even Juneteenth. It doesn’t publish Sundays either. I wonder if that’s the next step for the RTD.

But, hey, as Coates noted, you’ll still get the news. “The printed newspaper is just one piece in a portfolio that includes our website, mobile app, video, multimedia, social media and events.” He didn’t announce any fresh newsroom cuts. At least for now.

Then, getting to what’s really important to print subscribers, Coates closed: “For those who enjoy our comics and puzzles, we’ll be printing the ones that would normally appear in the July 4 edition a day earlier with the July 3 comics and puzzles, so you won’t miss any.”


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38 responses to “Honey, I Shrunk the Newspaper”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    The puzzles and the sports page have to be the most popular features now…the news and opinion content is so anemic and predictable. But even in our day the sports pages beat out the news readership, eh? Christmas was the only day we didn't publish in Roanoke, as I recall, but of course that meant somebody had to be there on Christmas to publish on Dec. 26. More than one Christmas Day I had the "night cops" assignment and had to man the desk.

    Haven't taken the print edition for a while now. I'm sure we never will again. I just wish the RTD website wasn't so feckless and disorganized. I see a story highlighted, then go back a little later and cannot even find it without a search. AI runs it now, I'm sure! Other stories seem to linger there for days or weeks…The WSJ website is soooooo much more useful.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Comics… don’t forget, Dilbert! Wait?! That comma, is that right?

  2. Teddy007 Avatar

    There is no funding stream to keep a newspaper functional and not losing money. And no one has figured out how to do local news as an app or website. There is just not enough revenue.

    And sports is dominated by national websites/apps. It is why people are not so much fans of the local team anymore.

  3. Raz Al Gore Avatar
    Raz Al Gore

    The decline of print media is lamentable. I’ve had to make due with Virginia Gentry on Substack, as well as the Abbeville Institute since they digitized.

    1. KnowNothing Avatar

      Hi Raz – I also love Abbeville! Though for current news, AMREN.com is the only outlet actually trying to highlight reality when it comes to black on white crime. They used to be print also.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    I don't know what percent of costs the print is for a paper but it's the staffing that is clearly a major cost and it's reduced staffing that results in less and less "news"no matter whether online or print.

    So, many folks do not want to "pay" for news now that the subsidies from ADs went away. So WHERE do people WANT to get their "news" these days if not the conventional news sources?

    There is STILL actual "covered" "news" in RTD and other papers, it's just a lot less. There may be one or two articles now verses 10 or 20 before.

    Like Haner, I also subscribe to WSJ (as well as NYT and WaPo) but on all 3, one does have to discern the difference between news and opinion although some folks claim they are the same these days!

    Heckfire, these days, some folks say you can't believe the govt websites nor scientists… !

    1. walter smith Avatar
      walter smith

      You can't. "Safe and effective." "Came from a bat" Masks and social distancing. How come the BLS overstates jobs 80-90% of the time and quietly adjusts later? What is the real deficit?
      Sorry. I trust no numbers from the government. It's a shame, but they have earned the distrust. And that applies to whether Rs or Ds are in charge, but the Ds are especially suspicious. The Rs actually know the lapdog media propaganda arm of the Ds will call out glaring mistakes (and make up some , too – the Rs live with Stockholm Syndrome).

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        So when you talk about "evidence" with regard to covid and measures, think about other diseases like Ebola and whether or not there are masks or body suits that will protect you and they have been tested and certified – i.e. there is "evidence" to show they are effective.

        You can look at workplace masks and suits – like those used for asbestos removal and again ask if they are certified as effective for that use and again, what "evidence" is there that they are (or are not)?

        The issue is that it can take years for something like that to be certified and they did not have that luxury with COVID. It was a new disease they knew little about and they knew they could not recommend masks that cost a lot of dollars and even then not enough of them and little chance of ramping of production to supply them,

        So the CDC gave their best advice based on what they did know and admitedly not enough.

        It's not like there is no evidence and no way to certify devices that protect against harmful threats. They do, all the time, but you have to know the disease and you have to know what is effective and those things take take they did not have.

        That's what Fauci really meant and in my view, said badly and was castigated by folks who simply do not understand what is involved in certifying something.

        1. CJBova Avatar

          You don’t pretend to know if you don’t have the evidence. The N-95 masks were better than cloth and around for a long time.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            and no way to get enough of them manufactured in time early on. They simply were not available in the numbers needed once they decided they were “enough”. Again, this was WORLDWIDE. We didn’t even
            have manufacturers in this country for some stuff.

  5. John Harvie Avatar
    John Harvie

    Should have been "Shrank", not "Shrunk". Yep, picky since my mom was a grammar teacher at Binford Jr High.

  6. Clarity77 Avatar

    The left at work once again. Amusing in this case when they destroy their own propaganda tool. The predictable consequence of lying.

  7. pak152 Avatar

    The Wall Street Journal has never printed on Sunday nor holidays when the markets are closed

  8. I just cancelled my subscription to the digital edition because:
    1. 5 out of 6 front page articles are local sports
    2. News and commentary is hard to find
    3. The digital edition features row after row of "historic photos" of Richmond that add nothing to the publication but do a fine job of junking up the place.

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