Thursday, April 02, 2009

In The Motor City for Big Week for Newspaper Industry

DETROIT-- It was only a 75-minute layover between flights, but my stop here at Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport today was long enough to make a 20-minute trek through the airport in search of two newspapers that represent a MAJOR change in the newspaper industry-- The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press.

After visiting two news stands and finding absolutely no copies of either local newspaper, I went down two levels, three moving sidewalks and another long escalator before entering the new concourse and finding two crinkled-front page issues of the Detroit News and three copies of The Free Press. YES! I had to take a picture (see at left) of these two newspapers simply because what I went through to get them.

It was definitely worth the trouble-- I have both issues today.

Earlier this week, the two newspapers stopped delivering newspapers to thousands of homes in the motor city, putting more emphasis on its online efforts.

With the March 30th headline "The New Free Press Starts Today" Publisher Paul Anger says the Web site has more updates than ever.

The exact copies of the newspaper online reportedly caused higher than anticipated delays

Meanwhile the newspaper printed more than 500,000 print copies of both newspapers for free at more than 18,000 retail locations where the newspapers are usually sold.

In today's Free Press, a surprise for me to find a former city manager from my hometown-- Richmond, Va. Robert Bobb is now here in the motor city

Meanwhile, the competing newspaper, which is now owned by Media News Group, the Detroit News features several new section likes THINK, EATS & DRINKS and DRIVE. All three debuted today.

But, my favorite article in the Detroit News talks about my end of the news industry, the television business. A story on 2A announces that two of the city's television stations, WXYZ-TV, a market-leading ABC station, which is owned by the E. W Scripps Company, and FOX-owned WJBK-TV are partnering up to share resources on coverage of "general news events."

All these changes in media in Detroit are happening as the eyes of the nation turn there as the site of the NCAA Final Four

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