Fairfax’s announcement signals the end of daily print newspapers 12



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Job losses and ailing sales have plagued Fairfax for years, and now the media company are taking drastic action: they’re considering moving to a model of printing papers only on weekends.

SMH, one of Fairfax’s mastheads, revealed Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood has told investors that the company’s metropolitan publishing titles will move to a new publishing model in future years with fewer print editions and a 24/7 digital version.

Fairfax publishes The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review. Mr Hywood said they wanted to move to a “future sustainable, profitable publishing model’ despite falling print audiences and high printing costs.

He said Fairfax is looking at a model for The SMH and The Age that focuses on the 65 per cent of advertising revenue which is generated on the weekend. The Financial Review print edition would “likely focus on its weekday revenue strength”, he said.

In a statement to the ASX outlining his speech, Mr Hywood warned: “It should surprise no one, and certainly not us, that the seven-day-a-week publishing model will eventually give way to weekend-only or more targeted printing for most publishers”.

As to when the change would be made, Mr Hywood said it was inevitable the day would come soon. “Quite simply it is likely that one day, the viability for newspapers on current trends will run out. It isn’t going to happen overnight – but eventually it will.

“People have accused us of being too pessimistic about print – perhaps it’s more a case of being too honest for their liking. We prefer telling it like it is and planning for it”.

That may be so but one thing is for sure and that is printed anything seems to be going digital as we shun the bulky papers and magazines for the immediate news and articles on our phones and tablets.

We want to know your thoughts about Fairfax’s decision. Do you think it’s a good idea to move to a digital model?


Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I do the puzzles every day. What to do now???!!!

    1 REPLY
    • Go on the Internet and download multitude of FREE puzzles to do.

  2. Most of our friends who are over 60 and even younger do not use digital anything so they need the daily paper as we do. It is a very enjoyable and interesting part of our daily lives. Please don’t let them stop printing local papers.

  3. Here in NZ I used to read two Fairfax newspapers, the Press and The Marlborough one. I disliked their attitude of rudely referring to females by their surnames only. A plethora of full page and two-page advertisements, ‘newspapers’ printing old news, etc. made my pile of recycled newspapers too heavy to carry down the drive. In the end I only used them for the puzzles. Nowadays I just buy books of puzzles.

  4. How will we live without the cryptic crossword 6 days a week? Appalling

  5. God help me. I cannot live without my daily paper, My wife must have her crossword.

  6. Looks like many are getting tired of the endless global warming alarmist claptrap spewing forth from leftist/warmist rages The SMH and The Age!

  7. There is a sensory component to reading a print newspaper. The feel and the sound are companionable – being able to flick the pages in annoyance or fold to a particular comment – or use the whole thing to swat a fly and all parts of being in the real world, which the digital world can never replace,

  8. We have no choice really, it will be done anyway. Therefore we will see the end of the Letters page, quality journalism, and no puzzles page. There will be no joy in cutting out favourite pieces, editorials and the like, and no job for the clever cartoonist that brings a laugh every day. For me, I will mourn the weight of the paper, and the feel of it too. Losing the broadsheet format was the beginning of the end. So, again the young win out against the old…seems very soon there wjll be little left, except the blinking television set and lights out at seven, and a whole lot of people out of a job. Boo, hoo.

  9. I’ve been reading the news online for several years. Gave up newspapers . I’m 72

  10. I am horrified! Have been reading the Herald every day since I came to Australia in 1974. Do the crosswords every day to make sure my brain is working. I love to scan through the paper while I eat breakfast, then return to read it properly later in the day. Digital format just isn’t the same.
    On the other hand, I can understand the whole printing and distribution network is very costly, and with the younger generation accepting digital totally, if they are not selling papers like they used to, it’s not an economic proposition. Very sad.

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