I was talking to a columnist in town not so long ago and he predicted, matter of fact, that the Bay Area would become a one-newspaper town. He didn't say what paper but from all indications it would not be the SF Chronicle. (He didn't work for the Chron).
Which got me to thinking: What about the future of the paper? Without the vast financial pockets of the Hearst Corporation, (which owns the paper), would the Chronicle even be around now? Probably not and this isn't a sudden phenomenon in the newspaper business. Most newspapers are dying and the only ones that are surviving are behemoths like the Wall Street Journal and only marginally, the NY Times. And both of those survive mostly from their pay wall web sites, which are one of the few that are profitable.
The Chronicle and more specifically, SF Gate. com (its website), has tried the pay wall route in various forms but it never worked. The Gate is immensely popular, (even with the largely soft news and image-friendly real estate porn), but according to most industry people, has never turned a profit. Matter of fact I heard the Chronicle loses several millions of dollars a year.
As a consumer of news myself I buy the paper. I still like the feel of actual newsprint but I also read SF Gate too. I couldn't imagine San Francisco without the Chronicle but then again if it continues to lose the millions it reportedly does, how can Hearst keep it going? There has to come a point.
Do you all still read newspapers or is it Internet only? Or like me, both. I'm interested in your response.
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