'USA Today' May Scrap Daily Print Edition

USA Today may cease publishing a daily print edition within the next five or six years, according to Editor in Chief David Callaway, who made the remarks Wednesday during a panel discussion about the “Future of Media,” part of the Internet Week conference. However, he added that the newspaper will continue publishing some sort of print product for years to come.

Owner Gannett is in the midst of spinning off USA Today and the rest of its newspaper division, in order to focus on its more profitable broadcast TV properties. A number of other big publishers have already done something similar, including Tribune Co., E.W. Scripps, and Journal Communications.

If USA Today were to shutter its daily print edition, it would become the second major U.S. newspaper to go online only, following the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which went all digital with drastic personnel cuts in 2009.



Other newspapers have cut back their publishing schedules, including The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, while others have simply closed altogether, including the New York Sun and Rocky Mountain News.

Callaway’s prediction follows a series of print circulation declines for USA Today, one of the country’s few truly national newspapers, along with The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Over the last decade, USA Today’s average weekday print circulation fell by half, from 2.22 million in the six-month period ending September 2004 to 1.08 million for the same period in September 2014, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The newspaper's total average weekday digital circulation soared to around 1.4 million, including readers of its digital editions, Web site and apps. Like many newspapers, the bulk of its digital audience now comes from mobile, with 24 million monthly unique visitors to its mobile app and Web site.

Although the stand-alone daily print edition may eventually fold, the USA Today brand will live on in print in the form of special inserts in Gannett’s community newspapers, which increasingly rely on USA Today for national and international reporting. It closed its weekend magazine insert for newspapers, USA Weekend, in December 2014.

3 comments about "'USA Today' May Scrap Daily Print Edition".
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  1. Randy Novak from NSA Media, May 22, 2015 at 10:08 a.m.

    A pretty misleading headline if you ask me. Scrapping the print edition sort of implies a fairly immediate action, as opposed to "USA Today may cease publishing a daily print edition within the next five or six years..."

    I realize print is an easy target for you Sass, but your obvious bias over the years makes you hard to take seriously most of the time.

  2. cara marcano from reporte hispano, May 22, 2015 at 1:47 p.m.

    I agree with Randy. Also guys, really read this article. Read. 
    It does not say that they are closing the paper. The headline is completely inaccurate. 

    Here is the news in this article and this is what the headline should say.
    USA Today's circulation soars to 2.48 million readers

    Thanks to trans-media offerings, incredible digital engagement of its digital readership and free FSI program of its branded content into other products AND intense demand for quality content from a trusted media brand
    USA today has 24 million monthly unique visitors to its mobile app and Web site. These are real human beings, real consumers, not robots as are currently be purchased by much of programmatic network buys in the United States today. USA Today's Web site does not promote illegal activity like much of what is purchased today by programmatic "media" buys (for more on this again folks, read a newspaper this is all over the WSJ this week).
     For this reason and its long-standing history of providing trusted content -- not for stalking folks or hacking their personal info while claiming to care about providing content or getting the developing world online-- USA Today is a beloved brand in the US with high, high engagement, across media platforms and a longstanding history of doing right by the American people. Media planners shoud take note and begin buying newspaper media brands - trans-media to take advantage of this large audience and other large, exciting, real human audiences affiliated with quality REAL media brands. 
    The article says:
    1. their PRINT circulation is up -- they are printing more copies of the paper, which are being read by more people because they are increasing their printing and distribution of the product through free FSIs. How many of you reading this have increased your readership of USA Today because it is now a free insert inside of the WSJ? Their products have increased viewability, unlike most of programmatic digital discussed this week. THey have high engagement and increased distribution and viewability.
    Their total circulation is up 

  3. cara marcano from reporte hispano, May 22, 2015 at 1:48 p.m.

    2. "Callaway’s prediction"  - why should we care about what the Editor of USA Today predicts might happen? On what basis of fact is he making this prediction. There are absolutely NO facts in this article to indicate that this prediction is at all true. 
    David Callaway is the Editor, not the Publisher. How much access to the financials of the company does he have? In real media, which some of you seem grossly unfamiliar with, an EDITOR has no access to company financials or to the business side of the media outlet. The reason for this is that they produce independent content based on facts, and this is what a trusted media brand does. 
    Why are Newspapers' Web sites purchased by more media planners?  The readers are there. The engagement is there.
    Why has programmatic pushed dollars onto the Web sites of sites promoting illegal activity and with only robots for readers ?  Lo barato sale caro. This means = doing the cheapest, most efficient thing, and running your media investments like a chop shop, cost-cutting initiative will NEVER drive sales and might actually result in the client getting in a LOT of trouble in that they seem to be supporting Web sites that support illegal activity.
    Some of you should be buying more US today online not as a network buy. And of course you should be buying Hispanc newspaper Web sites through me not as a network buy. ; ) 
    Buying the cheapest network thing with a robot will not drive sales. Mr. Sass does seem to have some other agenda and based on this article I'd be hesitant to really read him again and I -- and a lot of folks like Randy -- are very surprised this article is on the MediaPost feed this way. 
    Cara Marcano

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