The (Part of) Oregonian

Last week our sister paper on the west coast, The Oregonian, sent letters to subscribers in the second largest metro area of its state, Eugene. Those letters announced the cessation of daily distribution of the newspaper there.

Does this mean some Newhouse franchises will soon start attempting a Detroit Experiment? Does such a pull-back make economic sense? What do readers think?

On the first, we must wait and see. On the second, some news analysts have noted that since more than half of newspaper revenues typically come from their Sunday paper (which The Oregonian will continue to deliver to  the Eugene environs) such gambits could actually make a significant dent in costs without severely affecting income.

Reader opinion on the subject is not quite so positive. Here is what subscriber Betsy Boyd of Eugene had to say about it on her OregonLive blog.

Highlight:

The Oregonian has always tried to be a big vision newspaper, bold enough to claim the state’s name. How does The Oregonian survive this period of news format disequilibrium if it gives up on Oregon’s next largest metropolitan area after Portland? Does a name change come next?

The news hit me first like an unexpected loss in the night. But when the morning came (along with my newspapers), it felt more like a dear yet provoking and distinguished member of the community had just made an incomprehensible mistake, too strange and disastrous to overlook. The neighbors are talking. Some are angry. Everyone is aghast.

The lone comment is that The Oregonian wouldn’t be doing this unless it made good business sense. Whether that is true is just another thing on which we will have to wait and see.

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