I’m away on vacation until the middle of next week, which is why I’m only now getting around to blogging about what looks like will happen to MediaNews Group’s Detroit News and Gannett’s Detroit Free Press. Per the Wall Street Journal, more or less confirming what Jim Hopkins’ sharp Gannett Blog previously surfaced:
But the leading scenario set to be unveiled Tuesday calls for the Free Press, the 20th largest U.S. newspaper by weekday circulation, and the News to end home delivery on all but the most lucrative days — Thursday, Friday and Sunday. On the other days, the company would sell single copies of abbreviated print editions at newsstands and direct readers to the papers’ expanded digital editions.
This squares with what a clutch of top newspaper executives told me some months back were likely near-term possibilities for major American newspapers:
They say big metros also are discussing a wide range of other radical notions. Among them: making home deliveries only on certain days of the week, shrinking additional weekday print editions, and even cutting out paid papers entirely on certain days of the week in favor of a smaller and free product.
What Detroit’s dailies may do is huge news—and what’s possibly huger news is that there are many close observers of American newspapers who won’t find the news surprising, given all that’s gone on in 2008.
I’m back in the office next Thursday. Posting will range from “nonexistent” to “light” until then.