Is 3-day paper delivery good news?
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KAI RYSSDAL: Reporting that helped send the city’s mayor to jail won the Detroit Free Press a journalism prize today — the National Headliner Award. The story will probably be mentioned in the paper tomorrow. Along with a reminder to home subscribers that starting next week they’re going to have to get their copies somewhere other than on their front porch. Marketplace’s Dan Grech reports that both Detroit papers have decided fewer readers may be a good thing.
Dan Grech: The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press say they’re the first papers in the nation to limit home delivery to Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Those three days now draw 80 percent of the advertising dollars. The papers will be available only at newsstands the rest of the week. Rich Harshbarger is with the Detroit Media Partnership, which runs the business side of both papers.
Rich Harshbarger: Someone’s got to be first in the water. And with other newspapers in major metropolitan cities closing, filing bankruptcy, going only digital, we know that we have to do something.
Limiting home delivery will save on paper, ink and fuel. But Bill Mitchell with the Poynter Institute says the papers are rolling the dice with reader loyalty.
Bill Mitchell: The fundamental question is: Will breaking the seven-day habit of readers undercut the business model?
Columnist Bill McGraw has been with the Free Press for 32 years. He says the newsroom is ready to embrace its digital future.
Bill McGraw: I think I’ve heard more than once that this would be an exciting time, if our livelihoods weren’t at stake.
I’m Dan Grech, for Marketplace.
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