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Sam Zell plan to make newspapers profitable

Turn them into spam. Have a 50-50 split between news and advertising. That’s what Zell envisions as the way to make money – getting rid of all that pesky news and those bothersome reporters and instead have more “maps, graphics, lists, ranking and stats”.

But why would advertisers want to advertise in newspapers with dumbed-down content filled with other advertisements? Sounds like he’s reinventing the throw-away neighborhood shopping “newspaper,” with content cut-and-pasted from press releses, and filled with ads.

But those are free. His newspapers aren’t.

  • DJ

    “getting rid of all that pesky news and those bothersome reporters and instead have more “maps, graphics, lists, ranking and stats”.”

    That’s exactly what they said about USA Tiday when it debuted. Harvard Lampoon even satired it. USA Today is still going strong (and most Americans can’t find Iraq on a map).

  • Most of USA Today circulation is the copies distributed in hotels and thus “free.”

    Besides, why read LA Times that looks like USA Today when you can read USA Today instead?

  • DJ

    Well, if they took out all the Big Words (like Ghaddafi, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan)…

  • We look forward to the “new” LA Times with “Britney Watch” on the front page and nothing about those odd countries with confusing names.