My local newspaper, The Huntsville Times, currently publishes daily. In a few months, as part of a grand plan involving business decisions and megacorps and what-not, it will publish only Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, with al.com turning extra super-duper to compensate.
Mostly, I will not notice. Lea and I have not taken the daily paper in over a decade, and we quit weekend-only maybe five years ago. That I can recall, I read the paper with any purpose exactly one a year: on Thanksgiving Day at my mother-in-law’s house. (I suspect that edition will continue, even though it’s a Thursday paper.)
These changes are upsetting several of my friends and colleagues. Additionally, I have a few acquaintances, and one close friend’s spouse, who will almost certainly find themselves under- or unemployed as a result. To be sure, everyone I’m thinking of is a smart and resourceful person, so I’m sure they’ll land on their feet. Still, I’m sorry for the stress this causes them.
I’m having a hard time understanding the general sadness around this, however. The end of the traditional newspaper has been one of the most predictable death marches in the history of business. This place we are has looked possible for 20 years; likely for 10; and certain for 5.
Is this really surprising anyone?