Is Print Dead? What About Now? Now?

If you’re into following this sort of thing, you probably know that print is declared dead just about every week.

At this point, it’s a pretty trite argument. Just as often as a writer solemnly affirms the end of print, someone else stands up to argue that those proclamations are exaggerated. As you might suspect, the real answer is a bit more complicated than these arguments tend to make it.

There’s no denying that the traditional bastions of print media are struggling. Even though that’s the case, small, independent print magazines are actually doing quite well — if not thriving. So, even though print isn’t ready to go the way of the manuscript quite yet, if larger print-based companies are going to succeed, they’ll need to figure out some new strategies or adopt some of the concepts that have allowed little magazines to succeed.

Although there might not be a plethora of great new revenue generating ideas out there, there are plenty of terrible ones. And, as far as awful ideas go, the Akron Beacon Journal is currently leading the way.

Recently, ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard asked the newspaper how much it would cost to take out a full-page ad. The price quotes varied, but reports suggested that a full-page ad could run anywhere between $12,000 and $90,000, depending on the day the ad ran, whether it was in color, etc. Even though newspapers aren’t exactly raking in money right now, the Akron Beacon Journal wouldn’t even give Le Batard a quote because the ad would lightly mock LeBron James’ failure to thank Miami fans.

“I just don’t think it was appropriate for our community,” Akron Beacon Journal publisher Mark Cohen said. “We’re proud that LeBron is back, this is his hometown, and that [ad] is not something we want to be a part of or want to take money for.”

Fair enough. The newspaper doesn’t want to take money or give publicity to an ad that will mock the prodigal son. However, when Le Batard put up several billboards in Akron that contained the same message as the ad would have, would you care to guess who put that story on the front page of their newspaper? That’s right, the Akron Beacon Journal.

So, to sum up, the newspaper turned down tens of thousands of dollars because they didn’t “want to be a part of” the ad. But, as soon as the billboards went up, the Akron Beacon Journal slapped them on the front page, which, you know, kind of makes them a part of the whole thing.


Hopefully, print media doesn’t decide to follow the luminaries at the Akron Beacon Journal. If they did, print would die tomorrow.

And that can be said without any exaggeration.


CharlieCharlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.

Previously from Charlie Crespo:
Justin Bieber is Pretty Much the Worst, but His Music Will Save You from a Bear Attack
Viral Video of the Week: Watch this Sheep Own a Cyclist in a Race
Reviews of (Terrible) Movies Based Solely on a 5 to 10 Minute Fight Scene
Viral Video of the Week: Incredible Limbo Skating Six-Year-Old
Beertopia: Dogfish Head Brewery’s 60 Minute IPA

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