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Declining Readership Prompts Sale of Copley’s Smaller Newspapers

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Aired 4/19/09

News that The Copley Press is looking to sell several of its smaller newspapers may be a sign of things to come for an industry losing its readers to the Internet. One observer says the shift will weaken, but not kill the newspaper industry. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The country’s newspapers are cutting costs and laying off staff to cope with declining readership. The Copley Press, parent company of the Union-Tribune, says it’s exploring options for its newspapers in Ohio, Illinois and Los Angeles. The company cited sagging readership as one reason for the move. Dean Nelson is a journalism professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. He says newspapers remain a relevant source of information.

Nelson: It’s still a business and it’s hard to make money with these smaller or medium sized papers. But, will there always be a role for, in society, in a democracy, for a good, solid, well-reported newspaper? Yes, absolutely yes.

Nelson says there may be fewer newspapers in the future as the industry goes through a consolidation period. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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