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    Three years into nonprofit ownership, The Philadelphia Inquirer is still trying to chart its future
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    Articles tagged m2e (242)

    What will the largest local news company need to do and be to be successful in the 2020s? Neither Gannett nor Gatehouse has offered any big vision of what that is, or could be, even fueled by new money.
    The merger of the United States’ No. 1 and No. 2 newspaper chains will likely spark a new wave of consolidation among its smaller competitors. But will the potential cost savings be eaten up by debt payments to financiers?
    A combined GannHouse (Gatenett?) would own 1 out of every 6 daily newspapers in America. The goal? Buy two or three more years to figure out how to make money in digital.
    The Times knows its editors’ judgment of what’s important is one of its critical selling points. But in order to surface more than a sliver of its journalism each day, it’s now willing to respond to readers’ interests in a much bigger way.
    A combined company would own 1 of every 6 daily newspapers in America — and a little more breathing room. But eventually, there has to be a plan beyond just getting bigger.
    This hostile takeover didn’t work out. But the thinking of industry executives remains dominated by the inevitable merging of America’s big newspaper chains.
    “I believe that if you’re producing journalism of value, there is no reason to expect that consumers wouldn’t be prepared, in some way, to support that — potentially to pay for it. And that’s probably, ultimately, true of regional and local journalism as well as national and international journalism.”
    And what lessons can the rest of the industry draw from the Times’ outsized success?
    Alden’s offer to buy Gannett looks less and less credible. But can Tribune and Gannett suss out the merger that might be necessary to stop it?
    In an industry where expense reduction is the prime strategy, much more consolidation is likely on the way. Little regulation prevents it, and the financials all favor it.
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