(Since this piece will be published on al.com, I make the following disclosure: I receive no pay from Advance Media or al.com; al.com does not edit or influence my content in any way–they allow me to write any dumb thing I want)
I’m a big advocate for our Birmingham region, so I’m constantly bombarded by folks bemoaning the death of our daily newspaper. They seem to be genuinely embarrassed.
But with today’s technology the old business model makes no sense:
• Cut down millions of trees
• Process into paper
• Ship to publishers
• Sort for distribution
Can you image how many millions of gallons of gasoline are burned every day just from the delivery process?
My grown children don’t read the paper newspaper and neither do their friends.
I believe Advance Media Group who publishes our Birmingham News has been unfairly vilified. “They hate old people; they hate poor people. They only care about the money.”
The paper newspaper as we know it is doomed. It’s just a matter of when.
My wife and I had a conversation a year ago about the impending death of paper books. She said, “I’ll never give up my books. I love the touch and feel of the paper—the smell of the print.” Now you can’t pry her Kindle out of her hands.
People will be getting their news on their tablets or other portable devices. The price of tablets is free falling and the technology is getting better and better. It’s likely that soon Amazon will start giving away Kindles.
Some of you old timers may remember when newspapers were delivered by young boys on their bikes–seems far fetched today—so will the printed newspaper.
The decision to print three days a week may be brilliant or it may be the most imbecilic decision ever made. Time will tell.
We in Birmingham often complain we are behind the rest of the country.
Actually, this time, we might be one of the first.
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David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).