DEATH IN HONOLULU MEANS MORE THAN JUST ONE LESS PAPER : Star-Bulletin's demise may spell the end of the newspaper JOA >BY David M. Cole.
As someone who worked in a joint operating agreement Any contract, agreement, Joint Venture, or other arrangement entered into by two or more businesses in which the operations and the physical facilities of a failing business are merged, although each business retains its status as a separate entity in terms of profits and (JOA JOA Joint Operating Agreement
JOA Joan of Arc
JOA Joint Operations Area
JOA Journal of Accountancy (AICPA publication)
JOA Joint Operational Area (US DoD)
JOA Joint Operating Area ) newspaper for the vast majority of his professional life, I never really questioned the efficiencies: combined production, ad sales and distribution meant 24-hour usage of capital equipment and plant.
The downsides were legendary: infighting in·fight·ing
1. Contentious rivalry or disagreement among members of a group or organization: infighting on the President's staff.
2. Fighting or boxing at close range. between the partners, ennui even at the highest levels of agency management and a general inability to get anything out of the ordinary done. But, the cash kept flowing to the bottom line, and so we continued in the arrangement.
As recently as two years ago, I would have still been bullish on JOAs. They're certainly not right for every town, but they were working pretty well in the 17 where they were in place.
Then all hell broke loose.
First, the JOA in El Paso El Paso (ĕl pă`sō), city (1990 pop. 515,342), seat of El Paso co., extreme W Tex., on the Rio Grande opposite Juárez, Mex.; inc. 1873. , Texas, died in October 1997; then Nashville, Tenn., in February 1998, followed quickly by Evansville, Ind., in September 1998 and Chattanooga, Tenn., in December 1998. Suddenly last summer, Hearst announced it was shutting down San Francisco's JOA.
And now, Honolulu's JOA will die next month (see Senior Editor Pete Wetmore's story inside). But it's not just the joint operating agreements that are dying -- there is no longer an El Paso Herald-Post The El Paso Herald-Post was an afternoon daily newspaper in El Paso, Texas, USA. It was the successor to the El Paso Herald, first published in 1881, and the El Paso Post, founded by the E. W. Scripps Company in 1922. The papers merged in 1931 under Scripps ownership. , a Nashville Banner The Nashville Banner was a daily newspaper of Nashville, Tennessee which ceased publication in 1998. It was long a voice of conservative viewpoints in contrast to its liberal morning counterpart, The Tennessean , an Evansville Press or a Chattanooga Free Press. There will, shortly, be no San Francisco Examiner The San Francisco Examiner is a U.S. daily newspaper. It has been published continuously in San Francisco, California, since the late 19th Century. History
The beginning of the Examiner is a topic of some controversy. or Honolulu Star-Bulletin The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, is the second largest daily newspaper in the state of Hawaiʻi (the largest being the .
The loss of the Star-Bulletin is interesting, in that a decade ago, it had roughly the same circulation as the Advertiser (they both sold about 90,000 papers a day). The tide changed in Hawaii over the last few years, as a stagnant economy that was hobbled by what has been called the "Asian flu" (the wobbly economies of Japan and Korea) caused a dramatic drop in Star-Bulletin circulation.
When you roll in the closures in two-paper towns where both properties were owned by the same company -- towns like Santa Monica, Calif., Phoenix and Indianapolis -- the last couple of years have been hard on papers, especially evening papers.
This is despite the fact that the newspaper business is as good as it ever has been.
Each of the situations cited above were different -- papers were sold for varying reasons, companies established new priorities, markets shifted -- but the result is still dead newspapers.
Not to mention lost readers -- frequently, the surviving paper does not pick up a whole lot of the people who didn't buy two papers a day. Those readers are completely gone, disappeared from the reading public as if they had died.
Twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. ago, 22 percent of all papers were morning; a decade ago, 33 percent were morning. Today it's closer to 50 percent (and there are almost 300 fewer papers than 20 years ago).
With national advertising making a bigger and bigger contribution to a daily paper's income -- and with national advertisers willing to go into only one paper per market -- the drop of two-newspaper towns has also been precipitous: 20 years ago, there were more than 180 two-newspaper towns (whether under common or separate ownership); within days there will be fewer than 45.
The business is changing. I was speaking with the publisher of a major metropolitan daily the other day and he said that he doesn't run a newspaper, he oversees "an integrated communications company." He has put his money where his mouth is -- his business is deeply involved in on-line, direct mail, contract delivery, job printing, niche publications and oh, yeah, newspapering news·pa·per·ing
Noun 1. newspapering - journalism practiced for the newspapers
journalism - the profession of reporting or photographing or editing news stories for one of the media .
Competition is no longer between two or more newspapers in a market; the competition today is for the reader's time and everything -- from soccer practice to hobbies to work to homemaking home·mak·er
One who manages a household, especially as one's main daily activity.
homemak to TV to the Web -- competes for that time.
Newspapering is a different animal today than it was even a decade ago. The changes have been wrought by the hyperspeed of the change of society.
The JOA is dead. Long live the JOA.