Gannett ‘reinventing’ papers

Better known for ruthless cost-cutting than risky initiatives, Gannett has emerged as the first big publisher to attempt a wholesale reinvention of the newspaper.
Rather than slashing jobs, Gannett is shifting staff into new positions and investing in new technologies. For years, the newspaper business — much like the music industry — has largely ignored the shifting ground beneath its feet.
At the heart of the plan lie two big ideas that are sweeping through journalism circles nationwide: Involve the reader in every aspect of the process, and take a so-called hyperlocal approach to news coverage.
In recent years, Gannett’s Cincinnati arm has gone from producing one metropolitan
newspaper to producing 270 niche publications, including suburban papers, neighborhood websites and regional magazines. The readers — their thoughts, their half-baked opinions, their kids’ Little League scores — are at the center of them all.
And the strategy seems to be working. While revenue has been down at Gannett broadly, web traffic is steadily climbing. The Enquirer is up 38 percent from last year, and the average jump among all Gannett papers is more than 25 percent.
More traffic and more web pages mean more potential ad revenue. By expanding onto the web with a speed not seen in the newspaper industry since the mid-1990s, Gannett might just save the local news-gathering operation. But what survives might not look much like a newspaper. (Presstime)

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One Comment on “Gannett ‘reinventing’ papers”

  1. neutralideas Says:

    The last sentence is what scares me about a “reinvention”. I love the tangible hold on an actual paper, but then, I am just being sentimental. It’s nice to see that Gannett is attempting reinvention, however until online ad revenue can actually make up for the amount Gannett used to make off of print ads, I feel like the climb back to the top is going to be a slow one at best. On top of that, Gannett is making the same involuntary staff reductions all the other big newspaper corporations are making. I touch briefly on layoffs in the newsroom on my website at, check it out, if you’d like.

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