Last night (Saturday, 6/26) I had dinner with a friend and client of mine at the 4th Estate Restaurant, at the National Press Club (NPC), in Washington D.C. The NPC is a wonderful place, if you have an interest in News history, and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this historic landmark.
This morning, feeling nostalgic, I grabbed a New York Times, and settled in at the Fairmont Washington Hotel restaurant, for a nice breakfast, and a trip down memory lane. It was the first time I have read a printed version of a Sunday paper in several years.
At first glance, the paper seemed pretty much the same as the past. The layout of news content was not much different. All my favorite sections were still there. The one visible distinction was its size, as the paper was much smaller than I remember.
I quickly realized the reason for this change is a significant reduction in advertising inserts. I also noticed the Times print price of $6.00. Whoa!!! Sunday mornings just aren’t what they used to be!
I remember, growing up, the ritual my parents went through every single Sunday. For about $0.50, and with coffee in hand, both would bury themselves in the Sunday Tribune. (Chicago Tribune) Usually, they would spend at least a couple of hours getting their news fix. My mom, of course, would also engage in coupon reconnaissance, hunting for the best deals to equip herself for shopping the following week.
When I married, and started a family, my wife (now ex-wife lol) and I carried on that same tradition for many years. So, what happened to this routine? Why is it becoming less prevalent in our culture? When was the last time you read a (printed) Sunday Paper?
Online News Content is a Real Force
I believe, and the evidence supports it, we are transitioning from a “print news” society to one that, more and more, seeks their news content online. In fact, for many of us, our Sunday mornings now include a new element, social media. To illustrate this here is a recap of my typical 2010 Sunday morning routine:
- Wake Up and make Coffee (same as always)
- Check Facebook … comment on friend’s posts, add at least one of my own.
- Check Email and respond
- Open Tweetdeck (Twitter) and check for personal messages, and new posts with Hashtag communities (i.e. #Eventprofs or #SOBCon) — post tweets of own as appropriate.
- Visit NewsReader (i.e. Blogline or Google Reader) to get caught up on blogs and newsfeeds
- Write Blog article for McCurry’s corner
- Eat Breakfast while watching Sunday morning TV Program such as National Geographic Channel or Animal Planet… etc.
It’s not shocking to hear the Printed News Media companies are struggling. (many are in bankruptcy) It’s no wonder there are less ads. Companies can’t justify the expense, because circulation is so anemic they don’t get the return on their advertising investment.
Many print media firms are wisely reconsidering their business models and entering (or have done so already) the digital realm. With the uptick of online news options available, and the real-time nature of it, the temptation to bypass the traditional newspaper is just too strong for many consumers.
Besides, with online news, we don’t have to wash ink off our hands anymore … you gotta love that.
Question: How do you spend your Sunday mornings? Do you read a printed version of a newspaper? What is your routine for getting your day going? Does my story resonate with you? Look forward to your thoughts!