The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s parent company announced last week it is moving most of the paper’s functions other than local coverage to locations out of state. Other newspapers in the region, including the Akron Beacon Journal were sold in the past two years and are also making changes. Retired area newspaper executive Mike Hanke has some thoughts on where it all may be headed.
Hanke believes the decline of newspapers as we’ve known them will continue. He is a former General Manager of the Canton Repository.
He says printing can’t compete with digital, so papers must go digital. But newspapers can build on their standing as a local institution. “I think something else might happen though, something that could occur because newspapers no long have that biggest albatross around their neck, that multi-million-dollar press. Since that’s going to be gone I see the chance for entrepreneurial people who know how to do digital information to come to a local community and start their own news platform.”
Hanke says the key to newspapers surviving is for them to realize that no matter how they sell it, what they’re selling is the news.