In the latest round of How Much Can Advance Bungle THAT Newspaper?, Times-Picayune management has announced a new, three-day publication called TPStreet.
The whole thing is equal parts bizarre and par-for-the-course for the paper’s parent company, Advance Publications. Journalist John McQuaid pointed out that you’re gonna need a spreadsheet to figure out the delivery/publishing schedule. Maybe the T-P will print that and deliver it to subscribers every third Wednesday during Leap Years?
Before once again disclosing my own interest in this development, it’s worth pointing out that quote offered up by Vice President of Advertising Kelly Rose: “We are excited about this opportunity to extend our daily reach in print.”
But… But. But… The company HAD a seven-day print product! And it was profitable! Aside from the irony of the corporate maneuvering, Rose’s declaration also lends credence to the idea that advertisers aren’t entirely buying into the types of digital packages that companies like Advance and, you know, THE REST OF THE INDUSTRY are shilling. Print still matters in many ways, especially when it comes time to take a wayward glance across those balance sheets.
Anywho… This news rings with fascination for me over here in Cleveland, because it simultaneously dispels and upholds the cookie-cutter notion that we’ve all feared when analyzing Advance’s moves. The notion is dispelled as the company’s holdings in markets like New Orleans and Cleveland begin to employ somewhat different tactics en route to the digital revolution. (See The Plain Dealer’s three-day-a-week home delivery announcement.) The notion is upheld because all roads still clearly point to the same black hole of reader disgruntlement, market monopoly and page-view tabulation.
To borrow a turn of phrase from one T-P commenter: “Oh, come on…”