This article appeared tonight on Yahoo and says that the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News are exploring the possibility of dropping home delivery of the papers. The papers are planning to provide content to readers on the Internet for a fee. I guess on the surface I think it may be a smart business idea to save money in the short term, but I'm not sure it best serves the long term goals of the newspapers.
First, obviously there are hundreds of thousands of people who still want an actual newspaper to read everyday. Many over 30 years old still like the feel of the newspapers in their hand, they simply don't want to read the paper on a computer screen.
Second, I don't think people are willing to pay for content they currently get for free. I read the Detroit Newspapers everyday but I am not willing to pay to read them on-line, there are simple too many other places to get information for free. Unless ALL newspapers switch to an Internet model the News and Freep will be on an island and suffer steep losses financially.
There are only a couple of writers I'd pay to read, but why would I for over money to get Wojo's take on Michigan football when I can get much more in-depth info from "The Wolverine?" Why pay for the Freeps take on the auto bailout when I can be fully brought up to speed by Drudge for free.
The Freep needs a better plan. They should rethink the days when the Detroit News owned WWJ, I think they will find a great formula adaptable to new media.