The Wall Street Journal this week about the counterintuitive nature of rising paper costs amid a shrinking consumer appetite for the newspapers themselves.
According to the WSJ, it is the paper industry’s efforts to anticipate the extent of the newspaper industry’s woes that creates the continuing rise in prices. Paper companies are controlling supply by “idling machinery in their mills and, in some cases, selling them”, giving them more leverage in pricing. Some newspapers, like the Journal and The New York Times, moved to a smaller web width to reduce costs.
As the article points out, the two biggest costs for newspapers are people and paper. Newsrooms have shrunk, as have the publications themselves. And yet somehow it is still inconcievable that print publications will eventually be replaced by their online counterparts.