Post by Peter Lawrence Post by Thad Floryan
The Chronicle drove away its hardcopy daily subscription readers
with ever-increasing prices (noting I subscribed since 1966 until
a few years ago)...
They were losing money. What were they supposed to do? Keep
subscription prices low and lose even *more* money?
6 months before I refused to renew my annual subscription because
the price more than doubled from the previous year and was getting
close to the subscription price for the New York Times, the folks
at Hearst/Chronicle did this:
- moved to a new printing facility in, IIRC, Fremont,
- purchased all brand-new SOTA printing presses,
- contracted for and begin printing on specially-coated paper
which was far superior to standard newsprint and was a wee
bit narrower, and
- changed the printing inks to a new formulation that would not
rub off onto one's hands like that from normal newspapers and
Those changes cost a FORTUNE and I assume Hearst expects to be in
business printing newspapers for a long time to come -- I wish them
Post by Peter Lawrence
When their main source of income (ads, especially what once was a huge
classified ad section) dropped precipitously, where else could they get
additional income to stay afloat?
SFgate began charging for access to http://www.sfchronicle.com/ leaving
the remnants and droppings at http://www.sfgate.com/ with all the important
articles appearing up to a week earlier on sfchronicle.com than sfgate.com
I believe they still charge for sfchronicle.com but I don't see a price
schedule on their home page.
They also charge for the e-edition of the "chronicle".
One could successfully argue the era of the printed newspaper is gone, but
there are still 10000s of printed daily/weekly newspapers around the world
including many daily/weekly ones here in the Bay Area that I see in stands
at the post offices, inside pizza parlors, and more.
Yeah, I miss the crossword and other puzzles in the printed edition (though
I think "some" of them are online), but I wasn't going to pay $500/year for
them especially given the quality of the editorial content of the Chronicle
which has deteriorated from its heydays.
SFgate must be getting a "cut" of the "Daily Deals" email I receive every day,
so that's some additional income. They clearly have ads on their websites so
that must generate "some" income as do ads on Google's franchises.
Books are still being printed so hardcopy publishing, per se, isn't going away
anytime soon but I wonder how much profit there is in the $3/each I recently
paid for new books at Amazon.
Again, I wish the Chronicle success, but some of the recent disasters on their
website leave me with a bad feeling about their long-term prospects.
And putting things into perspective, the San Jose Mercury News is a pale
shadow of the former publication -- the alleged "newspaper of Silicon Valley"
doesn't even have the weekly COMPUTING that it used to have which is one of
the main reasons I canceled my subscription cancelling before the Chronicle.