One question that occurs to me is; are newspapers going to be able to survive in any form? In recent years the main newspapers in my area, The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram, seem to be literally fading away.
The Boston Globe was sold to the New York Times for $1.1 billion years ago. The Worcester Telegram was later sold to the New York Times for about $265 million a few years that. After holding onto both for a decade, both were resold by the New York Times to John Henry for $70 million with the Worcester Telegram being resold shortly afterwards, resulting in a loss of over 90% on the original investment for the New York Times.
The price was so low that it was as though the Worcester Telegram had negative value for in the deal, since the old main building in downtown Worcester had to undergo some kind of major cleanup and ended up being sold for only $300,000 at one point.
The Worcester Telegram use to have a Washington D.C. bureau but today is lucky to have reporters operating out of one of the outlying towns in an old distributing office for the paper.
The Worcester Telegram had its own printing plant in downtown Worcester so people could get a copy of the paper around midnight every day and the reporters and editors of The Telegram were able to check on what was coming off of the press each day. Later, it was rumored that the printing was moved to Millbury, then Dorchester and recently to somewhere closer to Providence.
Now it is impossible to correct problems with the edition, since once the print run is done, it would be at least an hour before any papers get to Worcester, plus there would be more of a delay in bad weather. I remember the paper still being dropped off in snow and ice storms but can’t see how that would be possible anymore with the papers being trucked in from 40 or 50 miles away.
As time goes on, it seems that most newspapers are unable to turn any kind of a profit. They are just simply fading away as their operations are cut down more and more as time goes on.
Hopefully, things will stabilize at some point but so far I see no indication of that happening any time soon.
Louis J. Desy Jr.
Thursday, August 23, 2018