Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

A smaller L.A. Times

Posted on | June 1, 2007 | No Comments

It’s bye-bye day at the Los Angeles Times today for nearly 60 reporters, part of the seemingly never-ending belt tightening afflicting daily nupes. Kevin Roderick at LAObserved is on top of it. Also too he posts a memo on strategic thinking inside Spring Street.
A great quote from the memo, written by Times Publisher David Hiller.

Every one of us has to be involved in how we change for the future and invested with a sense of urgency. Many of you already are, but all of us have to be.

That not everyone has a sense of urgency is really dismaying. But perhaps it’s to be expected as part of human nature. In our own situation, it’s only been recently that everyone has been invested with a sense of urgency, and I’d saw we’9-12 months ahead in strategic and tactical shifts.
The unsettling thing in the Times memo is that new sources of revenue never seem to mention (and this reflects our own issues at EE Times) picking up more coin from the reader. The Times brand is strong enough (and its readers are used to paying for the publication) that it should double or even triple subscription prices. What’s the worst that could happen? You lose a lot but not of your readers. The ones who stay value the publication, may even share their names to be marketed to, and the Times can then crank up a more lucrative advertising model based around those valuable, loyal readers.
Why not?
It’s sort of like supply and demand. Gas stations jack prices until they see demand fall off. Then they dial back to a new norm.

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No Responses to “A smaller L.A. Times”

  1. John Duncan
    June 1st, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

    Can’t disagree with your concerns at the lack of concrete revenue ideas. I threw a few of my own at David HIller and offered to help for free…

    You’re also right that US newspapers have to make subscribers pay more. But I don’t think that’ll happen until US papers become better than they are right now. There are too many things that have been too wrong for too long (overlong pieces that turn etc etc)

    But I think that it’s, in the end, saveable.

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