Tuesday, July 12, 2016

And the Future of Newspapers Is . . .

. . . Sugardaddying.

Our latest Publishing Word of the Day describes the most successful tactic of late for keeping daily newspapers afloat: Purchase by a millionaire or, preferably, a billionaire.

Motives for sugardaddy buyouts of struggling newspapers range from civic mindedness to a craving for the spotlight to a desire to sway local news coverage.

Often mixed in is successful-entrpreneur, I-can-fix-this-backward-business hubris. (That rarely ends well if the sugardaddy is incapable of humility.)

Some of these plutocrat publishers see past the declining print revenues and the failure to catch the web wave, recognizing the long-term potential of respected, trusted brands.

Corporate newspaper owners try to survive via downsizing and financial engineering. Only a deep-pocketed, patient-money visionary like Jeff Bezos would actually invest in the kind of experimentation and additional editorial and tech resources that are rejuvenating The Washington Post.

Every day this month, all 31 of them (Did I really just promise that?), Dead Tree Edition is presenting a Publishing Word of the Day that sheds light on the state of publishing in 2016. Tomorrow's offering is a choice of two words describing the alleged resurgence of printed magazines.

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