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Industry Insight

BoSacks Speaks Out: Bo-Predictions - All The News That’s Fit To Mint

Let me first say that I pay and have paid to read the Wall Street Journal since I was a puppy.

By Bob Sacks
Published: March 17, 2011

Let me first say that I pay and have paid to read the Wall Street Journal since I was a puppy. On the Web I pay for many titles and reading privileges. I am used to paying and I will continue to do so.

On my iPad I have tried and paid for dozens of new magazine and newspaper titles. I also think that I should admit that I am not your typical reader. I happily jumped into the digital reading of books on my ancient Palm Pilot at least a decade ago and never looked back. I don’t and haven’t read a single non-digital book with the exception of Harry Potter since 1999. What the heck, I am a practicing publishing futurist.

I should also mention that I practice what I preach, and two years ago, I started a small local enewspaper. It is wildly successful and has a penetration rate of 85% of the adult population of my small town of Copake, NY. www.copakechronicle.com

I preface all this to share my thoughts of the newspaper pay walls now being talked about and getting ready for prime time. My prediction is utter and complete financial failure. Sure the The New York Times will get a very small percentage of devoted readers to hunker down $20 a month; I might even do it. The same with Gannet newspapers. They will try hard and fail.

And while I’m at it, why don’t I throw caution to the wind and suggest that the new Daily iPad enewspaper will fail as well. The Daily is a poorly named throw back to – get this – a “Daily” newspaper. Excuse me but the ship has sailedand dailies are dying a very slow and painful death. I didn’t make this up, but it was suggested to me by a famous Publisher, that the Daily, if it had a chance at all, should have been called the Minute. At least then it would have sounded current, whatever that is. The name daily will always suggest yesterday’s news, and that is just so old school and quaint. Even the thought “up to the minute” is old by Twitter standards.

So, there you have another series of predictions made by BoSacks, as always burning the midnight oil to deliver you the most up-to-date news and prophetic forecasts this side of the rising sun.



By Chloe on Mar 21, 2011

Speaking as a journalist, I think that physical newspapers will be around for a while yet. Sure, there are greater overheads, such as using printing services, office space etc, but people are used to getting content online for free. I think that the death knell for print will be when someone monetizes content in a way that works for everyone.


By Michael Balton on Mar 23, 2011

Rumor about The Daily: Murdoch chose the name to celebrate his regularity.


By Gretchen Bishay on Mar 30, 2011

Interestingly, you can subscribe to the Sunday only paper for less than the digital subscription and the digital access will be included. I expect that anyone in my household will be able to get the digital access through this subscription, but that is yet to be confirmed. I think that means we are more valuable to print advertisers than to online ones.


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