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Interesting read, Valeria. Especially as I know a lot of the insides of this Danish story.

Basically, the problem here was that someone wanted to get a lot of eyeballs for advertisers and a 'free' paper was the vehicle, ie it was all about the product while noone cared what people really wanted on their doorsteps. Other media companies joined in and they drove each other in the ground with a combination of high cost of production and pathetic revenues.

It's the worst case of media management malpractice I have ever had the misfortune to witness.

Earlier today, I chatted with my mother about whether she would read her trusted Boston Globe--which she's read every morning for 30+ years--if it wasn't delivered at 6 a.m. but with the daily mail via the U.S. Postal Service.

Mom said no. She'd enjoy the experience less, because she's accustomed to the morning delivery as a fresh start to her day.

But it begs the question. Why are newspapers relying on paid carriers and delivery trucks, when the quasi-federal USPS can do the same?

Maybe there could be a way for advertisers and free local newspapers to work together. Newspapers need to save on distribution cost and advertisers need better exposure.

Local advertisers who fund the free paper would have the exclusive rights to distribute the paper in the community. That way they would entice the news reader into their business establishment and increase the possibility of a sale (to pay for the "coffee").
This could be applied to the web as well. By allowing the "sponsoring" advertisers to offer the paper's content electronically at no-charge to their own customer base. In exchange for the distribution savings, the newspaper would allow the advertiser a huge advertising banner on the main page at no-charge.
This way both get some coffee that generates income, and a some free danish on the side.

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