Local media outlets adjust to changing times

8:05 AM, Feb 27, 2008   |    comments
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It was pretty quiet Tuesday at the office for The Rake magazine. The magazine is truly stopping the presses after its March edition because the once-profitable publication is struggling to make money. "It just didn't make sense for us to keep going," publisher Tom Bartel says. "It was not only looking like it wasn't turning around, it looked like it was getting worse." While print revenues were dropping for the monthly magazine, online revenues are rising rapidly. So The Rake will now appear exclusively online. Still, the magazine had to lay off 11 of its 16 employees. Click here to read Joe's blog: "Publisher of The Rake talks about future of journalism" Mark Neuzil, professor at the University of St. Thomas, says it's a sign the media business is going through a recession. "A small monthly publication like The Rake is going to be among the first casualties of a business recession," Neuzil says. He adds monthly magazines - like Mpls St. Paul and Minnesota Monthly - are competing for a small chunk of advertisers. The changing industry is forcing media outlets to adapt. The Pioneer Press unveiled subtle changes Tuesday. The newspaper is now narrower, which is a small cost-cutting measure. "We definitely save some paper," says Thom Fladung, Pioneer Press editor. "Through other adjustments, we were able to save the paper without changing the length of the stories." The paper also made some design changes. While the internet's growing power in the news market cannot be denied, Fladung says the print edition of the Pioneer Press is still its franchise. "People still have a voracious desire for information," Fladung says. "What we have to figure out is how to get better at giving it to them in the way they want, when they want it."

By Joe Fryer, KARE 11 News

(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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