Towse: views from the hill

January 29, 2009

The Future of the Chron

Filed under: news,periodicals,San Francisco — Towse @ 7:20 pm

At the beginning of the year we lost John Flinn, the Travel Editor, and Lynette Evans, the Home & Garden Editor.

Starting February 1, Home & Garden moves to Sunday from Wednesday and Saturday. Food (which was all of four pages yesterday) moves to Sunday, where it will share a section with Wine, which is moving from Friday to Sunday. Restaurant news and the Inside Scoop column will show up in the Datebook section on Thursdays.

Beginning Sunday, The Chronicle will offer its readers an enhanced newspaper that will better capture the essence of living in the Bay Area. Not only will readers notice a new look and new features in its daily sections, but there will also be new sections and features that will add to the value of the Sunday newspaper.

Complete announcement

What does my crystal ball have to say about these moves?

People who currently subscribe because they want the Wednesday Food Section AND the Friday Wine Section AND the Sunday paper will cut their subscription to Sunday-only or drop it altogether. Why bother when the food/wine/home stuff has all moved to Sunday and the current news is on the Web? We’re reading stale news in the morning paper for the most part anyway. Sunday’s a nice day to go out for a walk, pick up a paper from the newstand and walk back home for coffee and a read.

Circulation will fall. Subscriptions will fall. Ad revenue (based on circ stats) will fall as well.

By Christmas, the Chron will decide to exist as a Sunday-only print paper — tabloid format — with all other news content on the Web.

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