Thursday, May 21, 2020

The death of the printing press next?

As people in the newspaper biz know, more and more community-type non-daily papers are simply shutting down. More and more small dailies, and even some big ones, have cut back to a non-daily print schedule. Some 30 have outrightly closed, and that doesn't count non-COVID, "regular" declining newspaper industry closures; I know of two this year within 100 miles of me.

So, printing press owners have fewer customers, and the ones remaining have fewer print jobs.

Meaning that printing press owners are themselves hurting.

And getting cutthroat in some of the discounts they'll offer.

A decade ago, it was still a commonplace-type observation that many small newspapers were being bought in part for their printing presses.

Now? What if you bought a press, whether by itself or with the "cover buy" of a group of newspapers, and you've still got outstanding debt on that? Yeah, you feel you have to keep your press running, but ... if you discount enough to take new jobs, you're running harder to stand in place.

IMO, it might be better to not chase new jobs for less money, and if necessary, file for the Paycheck Protection Program. If you qualify, the next step would to see about refinancing that loan, maybe? The next step after that, or maybe before, might be to at least start some discreet feelers for possible sale.

No comments: