Chronicle Admits No One Gives a Damn About Glossy Paper

Categories: Media
Dog shreds newspaper.jpg
Dogs care about the texture of a newspaper. People don't.
When the San Francisco Chronicle announced its amazing plan of saving print journalism via glossy paper, it struck us as being a bit like actors attempting to save Vaudeville via higher-energy slapstick routines or dockworkers trying rescue the semaphore industry with flashier flags.

Well, guess what? It turns out readers are still more concerned with what a paper says than how it feels. Chronicle president Mark Adkins told the folks at Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab that circulation is down, advertisers didn't get worked up about glossy paper and -- here's the kicker -- switching to glossy paper "not a good tactical move for other papers."

The Nieman article, like so many, notes the oddity of making an expensive new shift to glossy pages only shortly after threatening to shutter the paper in 2008.

Frankly, we think Hearst Corp's threats to close the paper were overblown -- and really more of a super hardball negotiating tactic than anything else. Of course, we didn't have the good judgment to print that opinion on glossy paper. So no one listened to us.

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