Another daily newspaper is going digital and slowing the presses, as The Oregonian announced Thursday that it will be cutting down home delivery to four days per week.
The company, which first printed in 1850 and has won seven Pulitzer Prizes, also laid off 35 reporters, photographers and other staffers, according to the Willamette Week, which obtained a letter sent to employees from publisher N. Christian Anderson III. Strangers and friends donated $3,500 to a bar tab at a Portland restaurant where many of those who lost their jobs gathered Thursday evening.
This October, The Oregonian will establish its own media company — The Oregonian Media Group — which is described as “digitally focused.” While the newspaper will continue to print every day, it will only be delivered to homes on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Subscribers will also have access to a daily digital e-reader version of the newspaper.
This continues a pattern of news organizations making the move away from the print product. The New Orleans Times-Picayune moved to three-days-a-week in 2012, while The Seattle Post-Intelligencer stopped the presses in 2009.
Poynter has a good write-up of what this all means for everyone involved, including readers.
The profit problem with newspapers can largely be pinned on a lack of print advertising revenue, though Anderson was quoted here saying that the layoffs and changes were not due to declining print revenue.
To help bump up cash flow coming from the digital side, some news media outlets have elected to put up online paywalls. While this strategy has worked to a certain extent, many believe they won’t be enough to fix what is a bigger problem for newspapers today.