The New York Times is reporting that the formerly daily print magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, is going to switch things up by going to print only once-a-week. A daily digital edition distributed via PDF will replace the daily printed version.
While I’ve read some criticism on Twitter and such about how this is a bad move, it actually seems to be a truly responsible model. By keeping things daily via digital distribution of what is essentially the old subscriber-newsletter model, you get to keep giving the subscribers the information they want. As a company, you save money on printing costs plus, environmentally, you save paper, making your company more green (I’m not saying they thought of that when they made the decision, but it is a positive side effect of the change). Keeping a print mag around, even if it is a weekly instead of daily, isn’t an Old Media failure so much as it is an Old Media adaptation.
Maybe print subscriptions are down (don’t know; not claiming inside info, this is strictly theoretical), but that only matters if your primary business is print. If the negative impact on the costs associated with print’s decline are lessened 6 days out of the week, allowing the company to focus on the digital (and the money that can be brought in via the digital), it only strengthens the company. As long as the audience still finds The Hollywood Reporter relevant, this is a smart move to revitalize the company.