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Hibbing paper drops a print day

Following last week’s announcement that the Mesabi Daily News would drop its Monday edition, the Hibbing Daily News is also going e-only in the first day of the workweek.

In a website announcement, the Tribune — owned by the same corporation that owns the Mesabi paper — states: “The change is part of a move to enhance the newspaper’s multi-media presence, and at the same time, cut some of the cost associated with producing a print newspaper.”

This might not be the last such announcement this week. I’m hearing a metro-area paper might drop two publication days, but I’m still working to confirm. Don’t worry; it’s not the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Mike Haubrich on 11/02/2009 - 09:34 am.

    While I think this is sad, in a way, that the costs of labor and press and newsprint are driving newspapers to do this we are in a phase of media change and there will be more and more that drop out and shift along with the progressing needs of their customer base.

    Print journalism will need to adjust as much as livery stables and telegraph shops had to in the last century, and we may mourn them it is largely becoming a nostalgic desire for the old days when the morning paper was sitting on the stoop for us.

  2. Submitted by Rohn Jay Miller on 11/02/2009 - 11:17 am.

    My first job out of J School was working as the Sports Editor of the Mesabi Daily News. It may be of interest to know that the MDN and Hibbing papers never published on Saturday–we put together the Sunday paper on Saturday, with a noon deadline, and then didn’t publish again until Monday. Now this means there’s no Saturday or Monday daily paper.

    The daily newspapers on the Range–the fact there were several at one time–were artifacts of a very different era, one where the Range lived through big swells of prosperity and had more than 2 to 3 times the population.

    Publishing a daily newspaper for a small audience spread out geographically over a wide area pushes all of the problems today’s daily face into a state close to collapse. Getting a physical paper product to a subscriber or newsstand 75 miles away when the total circulation is only 15,000 a day is almost untenable.

    The online versions may help with this problem of distribution, but it doesn’t solve the central issue of advertisers being able to advertise effectively. Newspaper advertising–especially inserts or “FSIs”– is 10X more effective in the paper for local advertisers than online ads.

    It’s a business close to collapse and we’re going to see it spread like a plague across small town small circulation daily newspapers in the next year.

  3. Submitted by Tim Bonham on 11/04/2009 - 07:45 pm.

    “Don’t worry; it’s not the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press.”

    No great loss if it was, in my opinion. I stopped reading them years ago, except for special occasions (like today, for election coverage).

    The newspaper industry seems to have blown it, I’d say. Their biggest physical expense was the cost of printing tons of newspapers, and drivers, trucks, & paperboys to deliver them onto doorsteps before breakfast time. Then along comes a technology that can replace all that, at almost no cost. But they don’t jump on that, and make it work for them — instead they mostly fight against it. So the world has passed them by, and they are mostly slowly going bankrupt.

    Unlike the movie industry, which did adapt & adopt new technology. Now, except for teenagers, most of the movie industry money comes from DVD sales or Netflix rentals or streaming downloads of movies — and without the cost of maintaining a movie palace, with ushers & projectionists, etc. And that industry is doing fine, while newspapers are dying.

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