Of Newspapers and Old Men

More than two years ago, a friend memorably told me on my birthday that while I didn’t look 50, I acted 50. Steve was speaking of my “early to bed” routine, but he might as well have been talking about the fact that I begin the day with the Seattle Times off my driveway and end it with a print edition of USA Today. Or the idea that Sunday isn’t Sunday without a $6 seemingly three-pound New York Times. Of course, only dinosaurs read newspapers these days and Great Grandpa dinosaurs spread a newspaper across the dining room table. At least you know more about your blogger. With this as background, I offer my thoughts about Rupert Murdoch’s Daily, launching Wednesday on the iPad for a reported 99 cents a day.
  • Newspapers have been an important part of my life since I would run to the door as a kid to grab my Dad’s New York Post (pre-Murdoch ownership)
  • When I was a reporter, I used to read about six newspapers a day and my appetite for news has not diminished
  • I’m as open as anyone to a new publication in an engaging format provided it is priced right
  • Murdoch will get my attention – and maybe my business -- if it’s more New York Post than Fox News. Actually any likeness to Fox News will send the app to the trash
  • I’ve been ready for years to enhance my experience by clicking links to videos, additional commentary and updates. I just haven’t found a compelling app
  • I’m not the Daily target audience and expect much of the content to skew younger and less interesting to me
  • If Murdoch has been anything, he has been a trailblazer. I wouldn’t put it past him to be the first print publication to figure out a tablet business model that begins to make sense for the consumer
While this has been one of most anticipated and hyped app launches, I don’t see a scenario where I cancel my print subscription by week’s end. You know what they say about old habits, not to mention old people.