In a piece yesterday I reported that phasing out USA Today in print is likely to be part of the calculations of the expected Gannett/GateHouse merger. The move, which is not likely to be immediate, would help find critical savings to pay off debt and align with the merger’s primary strategy to serve digital journalism and advertising.
After the story appeared, a Gannett reporter provided me with a six-page memo that new CEO Paul Bascobert sent to staff yesterday addressing a wide range of issues related to the merger. Bascobert leads with a discussion of the future of print editions, both of USA Today and of the company’s 109 regional papers.
Bascobert says that market demand will tell when it’s time to cut back or stop print:
Q: HOW WILL THIS APPROACH PREVENT FURTHER SHIFTS TOWARD THINNER PUBLICATIONS WITH MORE NON-LOCAL STORIES?
Local news is at the heart of what we do, and keeping local expertise in our communities is a cornerstone of our business model going forward.
Print remains an important platform for a large segment of our readers, although we know digital is our future. Our USA TODAY and local print products continue to be great businesses for us with loyal customer bases. However, we do need to respond to consumer’s preferences, which are shifting to consuming news online and mobile. To be clear, the decision will be made by the market telling us where we should focus. We will continue to maintain print if consumers are
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2019/in-a-weekly-memo-gannett-ceo-paul-bascobert-discusses-the-future-of-print/