Times-Picayune to cut print production

May 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM
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NEW YORK, May 25 (UPI) -- Advance Publications said its flagship newspaper, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, would cut its print schedule to three days a week this fall.

The company, which is based in New York, said it would also scale back the production schedule for its newspapers in three cities in Alabama: Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Newspapers are, essentially, caught between a flight to digital fancy and customers dedicated to holding a newspaper in their hands.

And the squeeze is on. More than 86 percent of newspaper revenues are still derived from print advertising, but increased numbers of readers are turning to digital sources for news.

Meanwhile, the costs of managing printing presses and warehouses, buying paper and operating a fleet of delivery trucks continues to grow in proportion to the costs of managing a Web site, the Post said.

About 45 million customers still read daily newspapers that they can fold in half. There are about 1,400 daily newspapers in the United States.

The Times-Picayune will publish daily, but only online for seven days a week at Nola.com.

The paper version will be published Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

"It's better to be too aggressive than not aggressive enough at a time like this. Doing nothing is not an option. Preserving the status quo is not an option. ... You either get out in front, or you get left behind," said Randy Siegel, president of local digital strategy for Advance Publications.

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