You better believe advent of digital media has done an absolute number on the once-mighty mastheads, and their transition online has been tricky at best, and a struggle at worst.
Really. A little perspective: the last time Aussie print media got shook up this much, a bloke named Rupert was causing a ruckus from Adelaide.
Now, Fairfax boss Greg Hywood claims it’s “inevitable” the weekday editions of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald will eventually vanish from newsstands.
Speaking at a conference yesterday, Hywood quashed claims he was being too harsh on the print wing of Fairfax, saying “perhaps it’s more a case of being too honest for their liking.
We prefer telling it like it is and planning for it.”
He said the move wasn’t imminent, and the timing “depends on the view we form about trends in consumer and advertiser behaviour, but all the signs indicate it is inevitable – although some time away.
The model will take shape over the coming years as our transformational journey continues.”
Recent cost cuts, including some pretty bloody contentious retrenchments in the papers’ editorial departments, mean ditching the hardcopy papers will cost them nearly $300M less now than it would have in 2012.
So, how exactly will your rapidly-diminishing morning ritual be replaced? Hywood reckons their focus on tailoring their stories online based on audience data will eventually deliver a more personalised news ~experience~ online.
And weekend papers will stick around, to accompany your coffees. Natch. Look, the future is now people, and it’s apparently using a lot less paper.