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Detroit Daily Press Suspended

Surprising -- yet not surprising -- news out of the new Detroit Daily Press. The city's new paper says it needs to regroup. Editors and writers now have a five-week vacation to see what happens.

Many friends were working there, and they were the ones who took the buyouts or were laid off from The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. I'm sad to see an enterprise that could have been an exciting addition to the community fall so quickly.

Here's what the paper had to say on its Facebook page:

Due to circimstances beyond our control, lack of advertising, lateness of our press runs and lack of distribution and sales, we find it necessary to temporarily suspend publication of the Detroit Daily Press until after the 1st of the year. Once we can fix these things, we plan to be back stronger and more organized wh...en we return. This is just a bump in the road and not the end of the Detroit Daily Press.

Here is an article about it at The Detroit News.

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  • 1

    Too Bad...

    I'm not familiar with the Detroit Daily Press, but as a 'big fan' of print media, I always feel something important and of value has been lost when one such disappears. To me it is of no matter whether an old, established paper or an 'upstart' attempting to gain commercial/journalistic traction - and irrespective of its editorial leanings or civic/social vision.

  • 2

    Sorry to see that the DDP is having such a rough time getting started but I'm not surprised. Even well established papers such as the Free Press and The News are having to cut back services.

    Newspapers are vital to a free and healthy society. If it weren't for news reporters digging up the corruption, Kwame Kilpatrick and Monica Conyers, just to name a few, would still be running rough shod over this city and we wouldn't be any the wiser.

    I hate to say it but I'm not sure that Detroit can support a 3rd newspaper. TV and computers may be too much competition. And I'm old enough to still remember the Detroit Times before TV and at a time when Detroit was thriving. Even then, they still couldn't make it.

    While I'm at it, I don't like reading the paper on the computer. There is nothing better than spreading the morning paper out on the kitchen table while enjoying a pot of coffee and clipping out a few articles that are worth saving. But I'm too old to fight "progress" (if that's what you call it). When my generation is gone, there probably won't even be printing presses left much less printed newspapers. What a shame.

  • 3

    As someone who works for one of the big Detroit dailies, let me assure you nobody is giving up on print. It's not just older folks who like a print newspaper, many middle-aged and younger folks prefer it as well. Journalism is evolving on many platforms, but print is not going away altogether and we are not abandoning our customers who love print.
    It's just 7 days a week home delivery that we cut back on. It was either that, or drastically cut back on the journalism.

  • 4

    Oh Come on detroitwriter. Give us a break! It's not ONLY the lack of 7 day home delivery. How about doubling the price of the paper? How about the lack of local news? How about the ridiculous price to advertise? This new newspaper offered 7 day home delivery, cut your newsstand prices in half and reduced ad costs by 75%. If they do regroup, the regular papers have something to worry about. I'm sure they celebrated the suspension of the Detroit Daily Press. But the fat lady hasn't sung yet!

    • 4.1

      I'm the first to admit that the local dailies have a lot of problems, but I'll also be first in line to defend their work. In some ways, the audacity and hubris of the Detroit Daily Press was insulting to the people who are still trying to put out the best daily paper they can. Sure, it's fashionable to beat up the local dailies these days, but when your entire business plan amounts to, "We'll cut ad rates, use non-union labor and publish seven days a week!", you're not going to get very far, especially given that ad revenue is down across the board, and daily distribution is a huge money sink. I won't touch the non-union issues specifically, but obviously that's going to be a flashpoint for a lot of people in this town.

      I don't know anything about the Stern brothers finances, or what their long-term plans are, but I found their business strategies so far to be long on hubris and naivete, and short on actual solutions to the train wreck that is daily newsprint publishing in the 21st century.

  • 5

    Well that was quick. I think for anyone starting a business in this area, regardless of what the business is, they need to be prepared to lose money for at least the first six months. I've seen too many exciting well publicized new ventures fall flat too quickly - mercury coffee bar and zaccaro's market strike me as two good examples.

    A lack of ad revenue and sales shouldn't take a newspaper down in less than a week. The weak are killed and eaten in this economy, you can't just have a good idea and expect to make it. You need a good idea, a ton of capital, and REALLY good business sense...I wish them the best of luck but I'm certainly not holding my breath.

  • 6

    Well, newspaperslive, I saw two copies of the DDP, and the local news was beyond skimpy. Are you bragging about that?
    I think I counted two or three stories about the Detroit Daily Press...IN the Detroit Daily Press.
    How were you going to beat the News or Freep on local news with a miniscule staff compared to the News and Freep newsrooms?
    As someone else noted, being so drastically underfunded, in this economy, just won't fly. You do need at least six months' worth of operating expenses.
    The last time the Stern brothers were in the newspaper business was in the 1960s. It shows.

    • 6.1

      If you had looked, you'd have seen that the paper you were looking at was a FREE Commerative Newspaper issued the Wednesday before the actual newspaper hit the streets. It was printed and distributed to publicize the new paper and to give a background of the people who were staffing the paper. ALL of the stories in that issue were about the new Detroit Daily Press. The actual first edition came out the following Monday and was loaded with local as well as national and international news. The miniscule staff you refer to is all that is really necessary to put out a quality paper like the Detroit Daily Press, unlike the dead weight and the 11 vice presidents at the Free Press. Interference in distribution is what caused the suspention , NOT underfunding! Your affiliation with the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press obviously causes you to look at the real situation with a jaundiced eye. Selling the DDP for half of your newspaper's price and the advertising for one quarter of your newspaper's price is just what this city needs to spur real interest in newspapers again. Too bad you prefer the same old same old! That business model won't work today and it won't be long until you see your guys close too!

  • 7

    I am looking forward to seeing the DDP, to hearing a new voice in the conversation. But really, DDP is swimming against the current by opening up a daily paper in these times. Advertisers are barely scraping up enough cash to keep the owners of the Freep and Detroit News in the black. If newspapers don't figure out a way to make more money based on their Internet hits, the printed editions could scale back more in the next couple years. Or worse, Detroit could end up like Seattle - where one paper folded. That's not good people. We should wish all of the papers the best. Democracy relies on journalism.

  • 8

    That's just great. I was looking forward to it be delivered. Now they have my money and no paper.

  • 9

    [...] pal Rodney Curtis has a great blog/site about his adventures in unemployment and at the Detroit Daily Press, which shut down last week for retooling. --Also, Crain's Detroit had an interesting article about [...]

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