Say Goodbye to Bay Area Papers

Frances Dinkelspiel examines McClatchy’s Knight-Ridder buyout and learns that both the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times are being sold off because they’re not in “growing markets.” This disheartens me too, for both papers are perfectly respectable. (In fact, the Contra Costa Times has a pretty good literary section.)

But while seeing newspapers slowly slide into the abyss is certainly sad, I’m not as much of a naysayer about this shift to commerce as Frances. We’re still very much in the early stages of a dramatic revolution in the way that news is gathered and disseminated. And if I had to make a prediction, I really see the action happening online. I also see someone coming up with a sustainable business model that is so amazing in its simplicity and efficacy that everyone will be wondering why they didn’t think of it first.

[UPDATE: And in a somewhat related note, it appears that Rupert Murdoch delivered a speech in which he suggested that newspapers must adapt to the Web and deliver its news on the current platforms or face extinction.]

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