Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Opinion: Time to Revive the P.M. News Product

From  Alan D. Mutter, Editor & Publisher
Back in 1940, 80 percent of the 1,877 daily newspapers in the United States were published on the afternoon cycle, meaning that editions were printed some time prior to noon for delivery to consumers coming home from work. And it was good.

By 2000, 52 percent of the nation’s 1,480 newspapers were publishing on the morning cycle to accommodate people who worked later, had longer commutes, and were more interested in watching TV than cracking open a freshly delivered broadsheet. And things were still pretty good.

In 2009, according to the latest statistics published by the Newspaper Association of America, 62 percent of the remaining 1,387 newspapers were produced overnight for delivery around 6 a.m. But things lately have not been very good, with newspaper circulation down by a third in the last 20 years.

Now, a bit of interesting market research suggests that going back to an evening news product may be one way for newspaper publishers to build new audiences and revenues. But the evening product of the 21st century would be delivered on mobile and tablet platforms, not in print.
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