When we read 24/7 Wall Street’s list of the top ten newspapers that “that will fold or go digital next,” we thought their prognostications were a bit hysterical. Sure, the newspapers they list are troubled (particularly the Chicago Sun-Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Philadelphia Daily News). But when we got to No. 8 on the list, we raised an eyebrow. The New York Daily News? The only tabloid in our metropolitan area that generally turns a profit? The one that doesn’t feel light as a feather when you pick it up? Surely it’s not doing so hot in these economic times, but to predict that it “could cease publication in the next eighteen months” seems a bit of a stretch.
The bloggers at 24/7 Wall Street based their analysis largely on the fact that New York is a crowded marketplace and the News is owned by a small company, not a huge conglomerate with the strength to weather this current storm. But they forget that for Mort Zuckerman, the owner and publisher, the News is just as personally important as the Post (which hemorrhages money) is to Rupert Murdoch. His pockets might not be as deep, but Zuckerman loves the paper (and the soapbox venue it provides) like a child. And in spite of troubles, he’s only looking ahead. When we asked the News for comment, a spokeswoman said the article “presents a perfect example of bad journalism that can perpetuate on the Internet without proper follow-up, research, and sourcing.” Pointing out that the paper “has the largest combined print and online audience of any metropolitan newspaper,” she noted recent investments in full-color printing presses and inserting equipment as signs of the paper’s future and vitality.
The Ten Major Newspapers That Will Fold Or Go Digital Next [24/7 Wall Street via Time]