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Newspaper Falling: SF Chronicle Losing $1 Million A Week - Newspapers In Trouble

According to today's NY Times, the newspaper industry is in trouble, as papers suffer from competition from the Internet. The SF Chron has been losing $1 million a week since last year. As Tim O'Reily wrote last year, he reads the online version of the SF Chron 95 percent of the time, and the "offline" version about 5 percent of the time. That's probably true for me, as well, but Tim and I are both in the Internet business.

What can be done? Well, my answer is "nothing" -- the offline news people have to adjust to this New Media world, as do institutions and PR people who have been oriented toward using offline newspapers to get the news out. This also includes sports leagues like the NFL, which has a long standing relationship with such organizations as The Associated Press, but not the Huffington Post, which draws 14 million visitors a month.

The SF Chron seems to be trying to find its way on The Internet, where it gets about 5 million visitors per month. That's still far less than the 23 million visitors that Craigslist gets, but then CL's reach is nationwide.

In fact, I think the future of the SF Chron is -- well, let me restate. The SF Chron should be more of a national and international online news system, with a local twist. Thus, it can get eyeballs from more places than just the Bay Area, but still be focused on the SF Bay Area.
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