Profit or No Profit?

Newspapers are quickly disappearing because people have been sucked into a technological world, where news is now faster to access by a small gadget found in their pockets.

In recent years, newspaper reporters have battled to get people to pick up the daily paper and today, many have shut down due to low funds and no subscribers or have gone into debt. To get people to subscribe to their website or to pick up the freshly printed paper, CEO’s have to think outside the box and take risks. Mark Thompson, New York Times Co. chief, is doing just that.

According to Jeff Bercovici from Forbes, he mentions that Thompson is planning to make a paper targeting only youngsters. This digital edition project would be called New York Times Junior and their main age group target will be college students and people in their twenties. As the company tries to bring up their sales, they have to stop and deliberate if this new project will in fact bring a profit. Many newspaper companies are low on budget and they are running out of proposals that could boost their budget back up. Their debt is slowly being paid off due to an increasing amount of online subscribers, but dividing the subscribers to two different versions of the same paper may cause trouble. CFO Jim Follo argues that it’s not a good time to divide, but to stay conservative and keep moving forward with what they have.

College students and twenty year olds are capable of reading the newspapers that are being posted or printed now. At this age group, we shouldn’t be reading colorful articles and having a website with a Joke section. The New York Times is trying to do what Huffington Teen, Time, and Sports Illustrated kid versions have done, but it can be risky if it doesn’t work out as they planned.

Should big newspaper companies target younger subscribers by making an intriguing version the the paper? Do you think it will increase subscriptions and boost their sales or will it bring them back to debt?

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2 Comments on “Profit or No Profit?”

  1. Kayla Peeples says:

    Personally, I do not agree on the “Junior” part of the digital edition, it comes after to me very (pre)teenagerish. It is no secret that print media is facing hard times due to the increasing evolution of technology and what medium the audience chooses to receive their news. Digital media is faster, convenient, and the audience is able to respond more promptly compared to newspapers. If the New York Times plans to go after young audience (me included) they need to do more of a case study on what type of audience demographic they plan to go after.

  2. I agree that the New York Times Junior idea is a faulty business model. The title implies that 20-something targets are juvenile, while also alienating possible older subscribers. From this perspective, older readers are assumed to have different interests and be more technologically saavy regarding news than younger readers, which is not necessarily true. I think that creating a New York Times Junior digital edition would only damage the reputation of the New York Times Co.


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