Thursday, September 04, 2008

Old News

The Chicago Tribune is getting a redesign and it sounds like bad news.

I buy a Sunday Tribune every week from the little grocery store across the street. I read it slowly over the course of the week. First the opinion section. Then the comics. Then the front section. Then the local news and opinion. And then the rest - arts, business, weather, even the featured obituaries sometimes, even the real estate and auto sections.

I'm not the best customer in the world, buying only one a week, and I don't read it so much for the hard hitting news coverage. But I buy the Tribune instead of the Sun Times because I like the old fashioned broad sheet format. I eat oatmeal, watch baseball, and read the Chicago Tribune. I'm boringly traditional, and that's how I like my newspapers.

Sam Zell, the Tribune's new owner, also wants to sell the Cubs, and sell Wrigley Field separately. He was even talking about selling the naming rights, as if anyone would every call it anything but Wrigley.

I don't know. I understand the paper isn't making much of a profit. Is it that Sam Zell is a villain or is it that the world has moved on? Why can't the Trib make money as it is? Is it the internet's fault? But how does anyone make money providing news on the internet -- I don't pay for any of it? Are newspapers doomed? Will there be such a thing as reporters, twenty years from now... Or only bloggers?

I know a lot of journalists have a lot more angst over these questions than I do, but all of the sudden it's striking close to home. No more Metro section to read over my oatmeal. It makes me sad, sadder than I'd expect.

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