We've all heard — more than enough — that newspapers sealed their fate when they began giving their content away for free online in the ’90s. Our industry has also endured endless “barn door/horse” analogies about efforts to rein that content back in by instituting paywalls.
One billion dollars in acquisitions in a three-year period seemed like a lofty goal when New Media Investment Group CEO Mike Reed made the proclamation earlier this year, but it appears the company will hit its mark.
In just the past year, the GateHouse Media parent has shelled out approximately $476 million for Stephens Media LLC and its flagship Las Vegas Review-Journal, Halifax Media, the Providence (R.I.) Journal and, most recently, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and its Dispatch Printing Co. It’s funded the deals through a mix of new debt, stock sales and operating cash flow.
When we asked newspapers to talk to us about the steps they’re taking to modernize their newsroom infrastructures, we got a lot of feedback — too much, in fact, to fit into the pages of this issue. But we think that’s a good thing.
In this special issue we’ve taken a look at some of the most efficient newspaper printing operations in North America. Printers are rising to the challenge and pushing ahead. They’re growing their operations and newspapers are thriving as a result — a fitting theme as we enter spring.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen any significant movement in newspaper adoption of digital inkjet printing. Some seven years have elapsed since vendors first wooed us with digital technologies at drupa 2008 and yet reports of newspaper adoption are still few and far between.
It’s a New Year and as we put this issue of News & Tech together, we enjoyed talking to newspaper executives who are bullish about the future of print. As an industry, we love to prove the naysayers wrong, and our Page 1 story on newspapers’ various approaches to ensuring print’s bright future proves once more that we’re far from done.