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Very Big and Very Small Newspapers May Survive, but What About the Middle?

Associate professor Mitch McKenney
Mitch McKenny

In the past week the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com announced a buyout offer for employees with 15 or more years of seniority, and the Akron Beacon Journal was sold.  

Newspaper readership has been impacted by the internet, by social media, and by a variety of other technologies. Facing this competition going forward, will newspapers be able to survive?  

Mitch McKenney is an associate professor of journalism at Kent State University and a veteran reporter and editor who spent a decade with the Beacon Journal.  He says some will be able to survive, but that will be driven by where ad dollars are.

“National news organizations, they may continue because of their ability to get national advertising. And the very small towns that still have newspapers that are profitable now, they’re relying on local advertisers. And generally, people seem to be less worried about them.”

McKenney says mid-size papers like the Beacon Journal and Plain Dealer need both big and small advertisers but are finding it difficult to get either.