That is the front page of today’s Press-Register of Mobile, Ala., one of four papers owned by Advance Publications that revealed yesterday plans to cut back publication to only three days a week.
Just about everyone I know is rather incredulous over the headline on the main story. I’ve seen papers bend themselves out of shape to try to spin, say, a reduction in web width or number of sections or pages as “a good thing for the reader,” but this really takes the cake.
Press-Register editor Mike Marshall told Poynter’s Steve Myers this morning:
Perhaps I got carried away, but basically the storyline all day long had been that the papers were cutting back to three publications, and lost was the story that weâ€™re building a digital future.
Yeah, well, maybe you’re “excited” that you’re going to cut back your staffing and pay the staffers who remain a fraction of their current salaries to do even more work that gets even less oversight, and then market the results in a way that older and underprivileged markets will have less access to it.
But presuming the readers are excited about it? I’m sorry. That’s not exuberance. That’s just bullshit.
What would the newspaper world look like if everyone wrote headlines like that?
Clearly, the folks in Mobile should be working for Fox News or something.
Average daily circulation for the Press-Register is 82,088. For now, anyway.
Read my take on the Advance Publications announcement here. If you must.
That front page — and the real headline — is from the Newseum. Of course.