In recent years, the industry of news, especially for print, has been an uncertain one. Many companies have been closing down and laying off employees, sometimes by the hundreds.
Last month, Grantland, a boutique website created by Bill Simmons, was shut down by ESPN. This decision ended the jobs of 300 employees. Yesterday, layoffs were announced at Philadelphia Media Network ending the jobs of nearly 50 employees at the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com as the company restructures.
Fear of the uncertainty is reaching companies in local Athens. Red and Black‘s Editor in Chief, Nick Suss, knew about the recent layoffs in ESPN and Philadelphia Media Network. He agreed that the online articles are a lot more popular than the print ones, mentioning that the Red and Black’s print circulation is about “one-fifth of the size of [their] online readership.”
“We still make our money and we still stay afloat because of this print edition we put so much work into and I’m very proud of,” Suss continues, “but I understand the distress that if this goes under, if this is not something that is sustainable, if we lose that, we lose everything.”
Blake Aued, Editor of Flagpole, says the newspaper prioritizes their print over online, but more effort has been put on the website, in the past few years. They now update their website daily because of the awareness that news is changing.
One thing that makes Flagpole unique, according to Aued, is everything about the newspaper is local.
“Every single thing in Flagpole is written locally, edited locally, photographed locally, the comics are local, everything is local. Everything is done by people who live in Athens.”
Both, Nick Suss and Blake Aued, admit that ad revenue is the reason print still has a big presence in their companies. “We have to pay the bills,” Aued adds.