May 292012

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 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?

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  One Response to “The Huntsville Times takes a significant hit”

  1. We get the daily paper because my husband enjoys it. I get my news from the internet. I don’t know that we’ll really miss it all that much, since the quality of reporting has gone downhill in recent years.

    But the reason this switch to 3x/week really bothers me is for my grandfather. He has moderate Alzheimer’s, and one of his daily rituals is reading the newspaper. Of course, he reads it 4 or 5 times a day because he can’t remember that he read it 2 hours ago, but it provides some normalcy for him and a connection with reality. When it stops coming daily, it’s going to add to his already growing confusion.

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