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New Boogeyman

(April 18, 2005) - It's Craig's List, boo-hoo-hah-hah-hah, the scariest thing to happen to newspapers since the internet. The next terrifying step? Craig is pondering ways to improve upon newspapers. Oh no, pull the covers over your head:

Now, the founder of Craigslist.org is pondering ways to improve upon newspapers. He smells an opportunity, convinced that publishers are more interested in preserving short-term profits than pursuing online audiences who still passionately care about journalism but don't read newspapers.

"There is a lot of change coming and I want to make whatever contribution I can. I'm just not sure how yet," Newmark said.
-BusinesWeekOnline, April 15

Apparently, Craig is so scary that just thinking about something constitutes a threat to the survival of the newspapers.

This seems like it will be the topic of conversation in the halls of the Newspaper Association of America's annual conference this week. These folks are scared and have been scared for at least a dozen years. The newspaper monopoly is over. It's ending more rapidly than anyone thought it would.

Here's a clue. There is only one real article about sales skills (and none about sales force development) in the archives of NAA. It's worse than Alzheimer's Disease. These folks are going out of business because they can not sell. They know it and seem to be unable to do anything about it.

It's this simple: the people who have delivered "circulation" for years have developed no clue about transferring those skills to the web. From audience development to sales, the newspapers have forgotten their foundations to concentrate on "journalism".

And, now they're scared of a small San Francisco non-profit. The longer the crisis persists, the smaller the beast that frightens them.

John Sumser

Take a quick look at Industry News, read the Bugler.

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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