Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Phoenix Suburbs Lose East Valley Tribune as Daily; Could Be First of Many

Shrinking Its Way To Profitability, Oblivion

A double whammy for readers of the East Valley Tribune in the sprawling Phoenix suburbs. First, it's going to stop circulating in Tempe and Scottsdale. Then it's going to cut back to four days a week and become a free paper.
Free is good, right? Not necessarily. It might get more people to pick up the paper if they don't have to plunk down 50 cents. Then again, it's going to be harder to prove to advertisers who's reading the paper and how dedicated they are if they don't have to dig into their wallets to read it.
Freedom Communications, which owns the paper, is among the many suffering mightily from circulation declines, advertisers fleeing print and an economy that especially soured in the Valley of the Sun, where the real estate bubble turned into a mushroom cloud.
So, for now, it's better than nothing, or that could be the end result, after the paper trims the 40 percent of its staff who will exit with the change in frequency.
"We are not giving up on investigative and enterprise journalism," Tribune publisher Julie Moreno says.
But good luck finding it once these changes take effect.

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