Oregonian Can Rescue Itself!

The Oregonian can rescue itself from the steep and seemingly never-ending decline in its revenue. All it has to do is adopt the New York Times price structure.

The New York Times now charges $2.00 per day for the paper and $6.00 for the Sunday edition. That is only $18.00 a week or just $936.00 a year. I urge the Oregonian to adopt this price structure now in order to save itself. Please.

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Posted by at 03:33 | Posted in Measure 37 | 21 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Ted K. Sucks

    Funny that a third rate newspaper can charge so much for so little content. At least two or three full pages are now ads for hearing aids or similar products. I wonder if they realize a REAL NEWSPAPER LIKE THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – THAT ACTUALLY PUBLISHES REAL NEWS EVERY ISSUE costs less money. I’m currently paying $169.00 for the entire year; and that includes the saturday edition delivered to my home as well as the online version also for the full year.

  • Vonski

    An increase in price of the paper would be the same is using a bigger bucket to bail out water from the Titanic. It’s still gonna go down. They might be able to delay the inevitable, but it is still the inevitable.

    Their problem isn’t price, it’s readership. People don’t want to read a partisan paper and they certainly don’t want to pay for the privilege.

    Jerry, it’s time to take squire Panza and find some different windmills to tilt in to.

  • Serve it cold!

    The Oregonian is a biased liberal rag. The reason it is failing is that even liberals don’t want to read the lies it prints.

    Die slow, I’ll relish seeing the unethical workers standing in line at the unemployment line!

  • John

    I wouldn’t pay $936 dollars for any newspaper no matter how informative it is. I haven’t purchased an Oregonian since the Calvin & Hobbes comic ended. If the Oregonian fails it will not impact me at all.

  • Steve Woodward

    You guys don’t get it. The O’s circulation drop is bad, but not fatal. People are still reading the paper. But advertisers are moving to more measurable media, namely online. That’s called economics, not politics.

    • Anonymous

      Keep telling yourself that Steve-O. It’ll make you feel better when you’re collecting UI.

  • Vonski

    The Oregonian has seen an 11% drop in circulation in the last year. Certainly, advertisers using other mediums is having an effect on the bottom line. But, would the advertisers be leaving if readership was up? Cause and effect. Having politicized the news and alienated a fair percentage of potential subscribers doesn’t make economic sense. What don’t we get?

    • contrarian

      Nonsense. All through the 90s the Oregonian was just as liberal, if that is what it is, as it is now. They had no problem with circulation or advertising and were making money hand over fist. If anything the nation and Oregon have grown more liberal since then, yet now advertising and paid circulation are dropping. What changed? Free news content on the internet and Craig’s list. The decline of newspapers has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

  • Steve Woodward

    If you follow the literature closely, you’ll see that advertisers are leaving, regardless of circulation. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about liberal papers, conservative papers, college papers, news magazines, pop culture magazines, whatever. Yes, circulation matters. But what I’m saying is it’s not the determining factor. Businesses want to know the ROI for their ad dollars. Print publications have never been able to tell them with any certainty. In contrast, online media, while far from perfect, can come much closer to calculating ROI. Marketing directors understand this, and are beginning to allocate their ad dollars accordingly. I know you’d really like to believe that what you perceive as The O’s political leanings are the direct cause of its financial stress, but wishing it doesn’t make it so.

    • contrarian

      “If you follow the literature closely…”

      Steve, this is the Catalyst. Following any litterature closely, farley, or anyley does not happen here. What we have here is a lot of hot air based on a whole lot of nothin.

      • Steve Woodward

        Sorry, contrarian, I didn’t mean to be demeaning. Because of the work I do as an online news entrepreneur, I regularly follow about 140 journalism, 40 media marketing and 25 social media blogs and web sites. That’s what I meant by following the literature closely.

  • Geeeb

    I don’t buy the Oregonian because it sucks. Charging more for it will ensure that I never buy one. The NY Times (which I also don’t buy) is a big, fat paper with lots of content, printed in a city with a lot more money than ours and a completely different culture. Following the NY Times business model will not save the Oregonian, only sink it faster.

    When I say the Oregonian sucks, I mean that it’s badly written, incompletely researched and insufficiently reported with a blatantly visible editorial slant. I find it annoyingly distasteful that the Oregonian selectively reports on some things and not others and the predictability of what it will report and what it won’t. If I’m going to pay for “news” I want to make sure it really is news and not just someone else’s propaganda or a sound bite that’s so uninformative as to be useless because the reporter was too lazy, too stupid or too busy to get a whole story – I want news that gives the whole story, that was obviously well researched and provides sources in case I want to check it myself. I want that from a newspaper because it’s in print, I’m reading and I have an attention span longer than that of a goldfish. I’m perfectly happy for bits of data on the internet because if I’m interested, I can bother to run after that online and research it for myself, but I won’t pay for bits of data on the internet. When I’m reading the paper, I expect it to be there and I’m willing to pay for it there.

    I DO buy the Washington Post, because it’s a literate, well researched newspaper that reports things that I’m actually interested in, except that of course it has no local news for us here in Portland.

    I’m also a business owner and I WILL buy an ad in a paper that has sufficient subscribers to make it worth the money, never mind “ROI” theories or other meaningless marketing voodoo of the week – will it reach my target audience? That’s all I care about. I do buy print ads, but not in the Oregonian.

  • John in Oregon

    Steve. Advertising is just part of the problem. I have to admit that part of me cheers with each self destructive act of the Oregonian. I won’t miss the constant insulate to my intelligence.

    But as I have said several times the loss of the Oregonian is not just a trivial issue. As the O drives away eyeballs, many will not look for an information replacement. They just tune out and turn off.

    People are tied of being preached at. Lib and conservative, Dem and Rep vote no light rail. Then the political class builds it anyway.

    What is the response of the O? It becomes the PR wing of the Political Class, article after article of Justification.

    Your conservative readers are tired of it. Your lib readers are tired of it. Your readers are tired of it.

    You run an article that the north west glaciers are going, no more skiing.

    Did you run the article that cap and trade will cost UK families $60,000? NO, but the Daily Mail did.

    Did you run the article that Australia is scraping cap and trade? NO, but the Wall Street journal did.

    Did you run the article that the quiet sun may bring another small ice age? NO but the National Geographic did.

    Have you reported on the proposed bills in Salem? Well yes, for selected bills to show that people can’t be trusted and the Government knows best.

    Could you provide a box score list of every bill, what it does and status. Yes you could, you do it for sports. But you don’t because, heaven forbid, then the people would know what the political class is doing.

    I stopped buying your paper years ago. When I go to the store I see the Oregonian on the stand. Most headlines scream bias. I seldom lift the paper to see what’s below the fold. And if I do its never anything to attract me to buy your paper.

    I know exactly why I don’t like your paper. Most of the readers you have lost don’t. But they do feel your contempt for them as a reader.

    Did you notice that Investors Business Daily is competing with you in this market? Probably not. If I were to pick a winner Walamette Week and IBD would be on the top of my list, the O on the bottom.

    • Steve Woodward

      Thanks, John. To clarify, I worked as The Oregonian’s business editor and as a reporter covering business, health care, technology and general features for 20 years, until I took a voluntary buyout last November. Now I’m just another reader, like you. Throughout my total 30 years inside the industry, I advocated eavily for more interaction with readers.

      This is the fundamental problem with ALL metro daily newspapers: They care too little about what their readers think. They SAY they care, and they actually believe they DO care. But large news organizations, like most large bureaucracies, are blind to their shortcomings. Reporters and editors truly believe they’re neutral and objective. But in reality? We’re mostly liberal as a group, and that leads to a certain group-think. We construct our own view of reality, which means that anyone who think differently is a kook. In that regard, we’re no different than anyone else. But as journalists, we have an obligation to be different from everyone else, questioning not only every assumption we hear from others, but also every assumption we hold in our very own minds. That’s where we’ve failed.

      The O will never compete with the Wall Street Journal, Investors Daily, the London Daily Mail and other national and international publications. That’s not its mission. However, it should cover Oregon better than anyone else, whatever “better” means. Everyone seems to have a different definition, depending on what they themselves would like to read. But The O and other papers can go a long way to resolving the gulf between themselves and their readers by establishing genuine two-way communications. The O will never be able to please everyone. But it can certainly make a better effort to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

  • John in Oregon

    Steve I can see you and I think alike in many ways.

    By the way I don’t limit those criticisms to local print media. Most national print, and local and national broadcast media are equally guilty.

    You are absolutely correct about the large bureaucracies becoming blind to their shortcomings. Its true of all business segments. We all know of the company that forgets it’s customers needs then looses market share to a competitor.

    I have a perfect example of the problem you mentioned from the broadcast media. A few years back there was an Airbus with a jammed nose wheel. Local stations here carried the video from California as they dumped fuel to land. There was all sorts of comment about the conference call between the pilot, the tower and the Airbus engineers. The experts are discussing the situation.

    As the pilot came in to land the video had the aircraft full frame. Lower and lower as it approached the runway. The runway came into view. And then we hard the local anchor here in Portland. WHAT. THEY DIDN’T FOAM THE RUNWAY. I WONT STAND FOR IT. SOMEONE IS GOING TO ANSWER FOR THIS. In that one moment an anchor decided she knew more than the experts.

    I totally agree the Oregonians market niche is local Oregon news. Even though technology has blurred the local national media lines that is the strength of local media.

    I mentioned those three articles specifically. With cap and trade a major local Oregon issue, they provide background and context to a local interest issue.

    The Oregonian could easily arrange to reprint the WSJ or the Daily Mail, and there are other sources for the quiet sun story.

    How many bills are in the hopper in Salem? Hundreds? Thousands? And in the news? Possibly 3 or 4.

    I also want to welcome you to the Catalyst. I believe you have valuable contributions to the discussion.

    • contrarian

      John, you say you stopped reading the Oregonian years ago, yet you seem to know exactly what articles they publish and don’t publish. How is that?

    • John in Oregon

      People keep track of those things.

      What does that have to do with either Steve’s or my comments?

      • contrarian

        It was not directed at Steve, who said clearly that he does read the Oregonian. It was directed at you, since you said you don’t read it, then criticized it for what you think it did and didn’t print. I find that a bit odd is all. If you are not reading it, then you don’t know what is in it, and you certainly don’t know what slant they are providing.

        If you say you stopped reading it because you did not like their bias, then fine, but you can’t credibly follow that by critiquing what they write or don’t write after that point in time.

      • John in Oregon

        What part of “People keep track of those things* do you not understand?

        Rather than going off topic here, why don’t you answer the question I asked in the article above about Governor Kulongoski?

        • contrarian

          Oh….”people” keep track of those things.” I get it. Other people read the Oregonian and then convey to you what is or is not in it, and from that you draw your conclusions. OK with me.

          Speaking of off topic, I thought the topic here was the Oregonian. I didn’t know it was Kulongowski. But what question are you referring to?

  • Artisticability

    If oregonian would get rid of these delivery services that do not deliver the paper, maybe I would consider ordering the paper again. This is where they could be making more money but they fail on the customers side!

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