The Sacramento Union’s bid to revive itself as a weekly conservative newspaper has ended. According to sacunion.com, Publisher James Dutra announced that The Sacramento Union is suspending publication.
The Union began it’s comeback in July of 2006 and lasted less than 3 years, due in part to the what many consider the ‘Perfect Storm’ clouding over the print newspaper industry. The combination of an economic recession, Internet news alternatives (you’re reading one now), the domination of Craigslist classifieds, the massive decline of newspapers stalwart advertising base of Auto Dealers and Real Estate and for final measure throw in an antiquated business model and well,… you get the picture. It’s not pretty.
Weeklies and daily newspapers all over the country are struggling or simply closing their doors unable or unwilling to continue bleeding losses indefinitely. An economic turnaround will not save many. Readership has moved on to the web, advertisers often view print newspapers as the least desirable option in their media mix due to it’s high cost and inability to offer target ads the way other such as Television and the Internet are better suited. For this once highly lucrative industry, the business model as it stands now may be a footnote in history.
Industry experts and pundits are predicting even tougher times ahead for the industry. One thing is clear, the newspaper industry is undergoing an unprecedented shift. Some will survive and thrive after the metamorphosis, while many others will have little choice other than to call it a day.
Check back for part 2, where we’ll examine the negative impact on the community when a local weekly or daily newspapers closes shop. For all the benefits and good that come with technology and business advances, all the changes may not be so golden.