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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lileks and The Strib

Last year I paid $264 to subscribe to the Minneapolis StarTribune. There are two reasons for this

1) My wife insists. She believes a literate household must subscribe to a newspaper. It is a good example for the kids.

2) I like the comics. I pay $264 per year to read Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine. Get Fuzzy alone is worth twice that. (I should really post an ode on the pure genius that is Get Fuzzy.) (Yes, I know I can get them on the internet.) And I do read almost every other comic as well. Aren't you worried about the girls in France in Judge Parker?

I can't be the only one on the verge of canceling. The Strib lost almost 5% of its readership in the last year alone. And classified ads are simply disappearing thanks to Craigslist. So they are in deep doodoo.

Their strategy? 1) Fire 250 people, 50 of them in the newsroom which is now under 400 people, so that's over 12.5% of the newsroom staff.

2) Tell all the columnists they are now potentially demoted to beat reporters. They have already done this to Lileks. I suspect that they can't fire them due to union restrictions, so they are trying to simply get them to quit.

Hugh Hewitt is up in arms about Lileks. I love Lileks and read his Bleat everyday, but I'm not sure how I feel about this. The fact is, I hardly ever read Lilek's Strib column since it wasn't the best format for him. His Screeds are the best (and the only thing he doesn't have archived on his site yet).

So this is my question: (Yes, long rambling post with supposedly no point, but there is one and here it is)

Everything I like about Lileks seems to make him no money (his Bleats and Screeds) whereas everything I don't enjoy is how he actually earns (or earned) his money (his Strib column and his books). Likewise, I don't think any local paper has figured out a way to actually make money from their online edition.

So here it is: Is there any way to actually make money from this Internet doohickey (other than porn)?

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I cancelled the trib some years ago. Mostly because I could not stand the reporting. I think the future of newspapers will be to pander to a particular audience, just as newspapers did years ago.

Right now I subscribe to my local eden prairie paper. It has stories about Eden Prairie and doesn't appear to have much bias. A paper like that if properly managed could weasel itself into the Strib's market with an alternative voice.

12:49 AM, May 08, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Love, love, LOVE Lileks. I only remember to check his Screedblog once or twice a month, ditto for his Strib column, which was cut back a while ago.

But I got rid of the paper version a few years ago because 1) I don't like black smudges on my fingers, 2) I don't want more paper in the house, 3) Now that my seven-year-old is reading, I don't need him getting all the crap I kept him out of public school to avoid, and 4) I get all the news I don't have time to read on the 'net.

Horse-drawn carriage makers had to find another livelihood a century ago, as incandescent bulb makers now will. Commie reporters are not immune to the market, despite their convictions.

10:23 AM, May 08, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Lileks also has fantastic collections of old photos on his site. I could spend hours browsing through his picts of Fifties art deco motels and dining halls, or turn-of-the-century photos of NYC.

6:45 PM, May 08, 2007  

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