USA Today which debuted in 1982 with a "news-lite" model is now putting less emphasis on the actual "paper" side of the business.
USA Today, the nation's second-largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.
The makeover will result in about 130 layoffs this fall, USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke said. That translates into a 9 percent reduction in USA Today's work force of 1,500 employees.
Like most newspapers, Gannett Co.'s USA Today has been cutting back in recent years to offset a steep drop in advertising that is depleting its main source of income. To compound the problem, fewer readers are paying for newspapers as free news proliferates on the Web.
Frankly, I don't see what USA Today offers. USA Today quickly abandoned any hope of residential service and became a free paper at the nation's hotels. But that model is now failing. Business travelers are so wired these days that they will check their traditional news sites while on the road. I see no market for national, news-lite, Entertainment Tonight type coverage.
The number one newspaper is, of course, the Wall Street Journal. I think there's probably still a national market for the WSJ because the stories are in depth and informative. I actually learn things from the WSJ.
(Yes, it's ironic that I'm so critical of newspapers but I subscribe to the Republic, Capital Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Journal.)