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One More Reason the Newspaper Business is in Such Trouble


SimplyHeadlines delivers headlines to mobile devices. It’s an obvious and useful tool.

Knight Ridder, the company I used to work for, registered the domain in 1998 — and proceeded to do nothing with it.

UPDATE: Mark Potts tells me: “Knight Ridder didn’t register in 1998 — they got it as part of the breakup of New Century Network, which had owned the URL previously.”

New Century Network was the newspaper industry’s failed attempt, back in the mid-1990s, to counter the competition that more far-sighted folks saw coming from the online world. The venture was a fiasco (see this BusinessWeek story), to put it mildly.

About two years ago I gave a talk to some senior people people at Knight Ridder, before it was sold to McClatchy. I begged them to use this domain, or sell it to me so I could do something with it. I believe they thought I was joking about the latter idea. I wasn’t. Any random person off the street could have made something of

The domain now points to the “RealCities” network that McClatchy bought along with Knight Ridder’s digital arm. Maybe the new ownership will do something with it. Or maybe not.

2 Comments on “One More Reason the Newspaper Business is in Such Trouble”

  1. #1 Iulian Comanescu
    on Dec 19th, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    Actually much of the success of the new media is due not to the attractive nature of the medium itself, but to young and intrepid publishers. The ‘saving costs’ manager is present everywhere in big print companies. If a newspaper was a small investment, we’d have a ton of attractive and growing titles around us.

  2. #2 Phil's Blogservations
    on Dec 19th, 2006 at 5:42 pm


    More interestingly, though, Dan also allows us to see some light under the door in terms of online media inertia at Knight-Ridder, his previous employer……