Saturday, January 3, 2009

Two local media notes ...

A couple of quick local media observations from the past couple of weeks:

First, Friday's Concord Monitor was a slim two book newspaper with the Friday culture section put together on some inside pages. While it was a surprise to see, it works visually.
Saturday's Monitor also yielded some changes. It had no religion story in the religion section but did have the church listings. The Opinion page was sized down to one page which isn't a huge thing since the Monitor hasn't offered a local editorial on Saturday in ages.
Question: Is the Saturday newspaper long for the world at this point? With dailies across the country cutting down their physical publishing to five and four day weeks, is the Monitor far behind? Probably not. But one has to wonder.
The comment section on the newspaper's Web site seems to be going great guns, which is good. Most of it is fun reading. Publisher Geordie Wilson will be talking about the initiative at the February New England Press Association convention in Boston. I'll more exciting NEPA news after the convention.

Second, The Bow Times has merged with the Goffstown News. I don't know when this happened but it seems like a recent change. Bow news is now a one page section in the Goffstown paper. A search on Google, Google news, and the Concord Monitor Web site, yielded no stories about the change [I mentioned it on the Politizine Twitter a couple of weeks ago, so I think I'm the first observer to write about it]. There is a short, undated press release on the Neighborhood News Web site about the change.
Bedroom communities with no retail base are very difficult markets for newspapers, especially free ones with no subscription base. Even though advertisers want to pitch their products to affluent readers, that isn't enough these days to sustain the physical product. If there is nothing to pay for the physical newspaper, it can't be sustained, unfortunately.
Question: If the Monitor boosted coverage of Bow, would that deliver more subscriptions, especially in the wake of the end of The Bow Times? I know that the Union Leader attempted that in the past, hiring part-timers to cover Bow meetings, but I don't know if it was very successful. One has to wonder though. While I don't know the inner workings of the Monitor staff, it would seem as if there would be enough people to expand some coverage and do some marketing to residents interested in more than published press releases.

No comments: