p>4. McClatchy is keeping newspapers that are essentially the only ones in the cities they serve. So the incentive for subscribers to stick with them is high. Why
try to leverage this advantage in one city to push electronic delivery? Recent estimates show that up to 75 percent of the U.S. population
has access to the Internet
. Perhaps McClatchy could, through surveys, identify which of its markets has the highest number of newspaper subscribers who already have web access. Then convert 'em.
p>Such a move would represent a forced behavioral change for many media consumers, but it's one whose time has come. A parallel exists in the photography industry, with the end of film production by Konica Minolta, and Nikon's plan to sell only digital cameras. The transition
is nearly complete
, and it didn't take long. Why should newspapers wait?
p>McClatchy will have a number of communities in which it could attempt the switch. How about a university town like State College, Pennsylvania (the
Centre Daily Times
), home of Penn State University, where a higher percentage of residents
likely surf the Web
? Or perhaps a smaller market near a large city that is in many ways served by both? For example, the
in Rock Hill, South Carolina, could go strictly online while residents could still access the nearby