One of the nation's most respected newspapers is folding its daily print edition in favor of online publication, supplemented by a weekly paper edition. The Christian Science Monitor announced Tuesday that it will suspend daily publication this coming April. The daily publication will be replaced by a weekly print format featuring its special brand of analysis and an online operation for daily reporting. The shift to online publication will entail an unspecified number of layoffs.
The news comes amid a steep slide in the fortunes of newspaper publishers, which have seen print advertising revenues and circulation undermined by online news, while still relying heavily on print for most of their income.
Unlike other newspaper publishers--which are for the most part publicly traded companies--The Christian Science Monitor is privately maintained by the Christian Science Church, meaning that it has more freedom to make bold moves.
The Christian Science Monitor is also unusual in that it has a relatively small print circulation of 56,000, but a much larger Web audience, with about 700,000 unique visitors generating 5 million page views per month. That's thanks to its reputation for high-quality journalism, especially in international reporting.
Further distinguishing it from other newspapers, CSM doesn't rely on advertising for most of its revenue, with the lion's share coming from circulation in the form of subscriptions.