September 9, 2013

If you read the Medford Mail Tribune, you know that Dow Jones has sold all their community newspapers including the Medford and Ashland papers. So, what will this mean? Quick and dramatic changes I predict. Say goodbye to the Ashland Daily Tidings (a separate paper in name only). Say hello to new digital editions for various cities.

Buried in the paper’s story (Greg Stiles did an excellent job explaining a complicated transaction) are several facts from a presentation by the new owners are very revealing.

1. More than 80 percent of today’s newspaper readers rely on local newspapers, and existing infrastructure and trust create real barriers for new papers. The newspaper industry has also added revenue streams, with 35% of total revenue now coming from non-advertising sources, up from 18% in 2005.

2. Dow Jones under-managed their newspapers. Digital revenue is far below industry norms, costs are not low enough, and revenue is down 40% during the past three years.

Bottom-line: You have a strong product that people like and trust, which has major barriers to entry, and you haven’t reduced expenses enough or generated enough income from new sources. That is a recipe for major changes…stay tuned.


  1. Here’s hoping. There are smart, innovated people in that company and I hope they get a chance to stretch their wings now. I loves me some Mail Tribune.

  2. Hey mark

    Oregonian just made many of the changes you are talking about. Will also eliminate printing on Mondays and Maybe Tues. .Keep us all up to date.

    Bud Coe

    • Yes, Bud, the Oregonian is trying to be on the leading edge of the print-digital combo that will be the media strategy in the future.

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