Scripps Cuts Out The Middle Option In Cincinnati

So I’ve been blathering and blogging about which major market newspaper will be the first to go online only, not today, but someday soon … .and today the Cincinnati-based chain Scripps up and announces to just shut its Cincinnati Post down entirely at the end of December.

From the Cinti Post piece (emphasis added):

Since receiving notification from Gannett that the joint operating agreement would not be renewed, Boehne said Scripps had explored options for The Post’s future. A company official said those included continued publication, turning the paper into a free distribution newspaper and even becoming an Internet-only news site. However, because Scripps does not employ advertising and circulation staffs or other production and business employees locally and does not own any newspaper printing facilities in Greater Cincinnati, continued publication would have been too costly to pursue.

A commenters’ fave on the first paper to go online only, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, similarly is part of a joint operating agreement. And at least one media exec I talked to in researching my column said he didn’t think appers would go for the online-only option—the parent companies would just shut them down outright. (I, obviously, disagree.)

Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of interesting comments and suggestions on my original post—too many, really, to sum up by cutting and pasting. Check out the chat here and here; please add your own thoughts, etc.

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