Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quote of the Day: What Could Save Newspapers*

"Times are certainly far tougher today than they used to be for newspapers. Circulation nationally will continue to slip and in some cases plunge. But American papers have only failed when one or more of the following factors was present: (1) The town or city had two or more competing dailies; (2) the paper lost its position as the primary source of information important to its readers or (3) the town or city did not have a pervasive self-identity. We don’t face those problems."

--Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway this week bought  a group of newspapers that includes a number in Virginia. Story here.

(In Roanoke, I think No. 2 and No. 3 are strongly in play. Management and morale could be better, too.)

(* This, of course, assumes there is some need to save newspapers, which are simply one of many delivery systems for news and, decreasingly, advertising.)



  1. Just saw today that the New Orleans Times-Picayune will move to publishing a hard copy only three days a week. Hard to believe.

  2. Robert: Nothing new in that. See "Rocky Mountain News." Many pubs--that aren't papers--are moving to the web and they all instantly become something other than periodicals. I don't know how that will play out, but we're considering a web version where stories run as we receive them, instead of being packaged in a single volume. We are "considering" that. Let me stress.