Sunday, March 22, 2009

Look! A newspaper NOT in trouble!!

The Austin daily newspaper is for sale (still) with no apparent buyers offering enough money yet to make a deal.

The Houston Chronicle is fixin' to do a double-digit reduction in force. It's been the same story with the San Antonio Express-News. Same story with the Fort Worth daily. And in Dallas.

But there's one paper in Texas that appears to be doing something right -- the weekly in Austin.

Or at least there doing enough things right to get NY Times media writer David Carr to write this glowing report.

The Austin Chronicle, a weekly newspaper as funky and idiosyncratic as the town it covers, continues to thrive with a relentlessly local news agenda — state government, the school board and the City Council, along with deep coverage of the arts — and a willingness to lead, as opposed to simply criticize, in artistic matters.

At a time when daily newspapers seem to be going away at the rate of one a week and weeklies are madly cutting to stay afloat, The Chronicle, which has revenue of approximately $8.5 million a year, has not laid off anyone, has no plans to do so, and its business is off just 7 percent in the last three years.

One of the secrets to their success, according to the story, is they are relentlessly local.

Which probably is why whenever I pick one up while in Austin, I don't find much in there that interests me, since it's so local I'm lost.

But I tip my hardhat to them for their success and what they've done with the South By Southwest deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Official word handed down at Houston chronicle is 12% reduction to happen tuesday and wednesday.