As circulation figures of daily newspapers’ continue to ebb, editors and publishers continue to make their publications’ front pages less appealing rather than injecting more interest with multiple stories.
Bulk of U.S. daily newspapers these days run only three or four stories on front pages. That includes yesterday’s USA Today which got down to three front page pieces plus seven Newsline shorts and several other “refers.”
Grumpy Editor noticed the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday focused on only two stories: “Bay Bridge Open for Business” with a large photo and, at the bottom of the page with a photo, “Renowned Record Store Fading Out,” dealing with a Mill Valley record store soon to close after more than 60 years in business. Only other front page news material was a “refer” box at the bottom pointing to inside coverage of three stories: Bush’s trip to Iraq, Hurricane Felix and bipolar disorder.
New Yorkers will say, "wow! two stories." That’s because most of their local dailies are more like magazine covers with only screaming headlines and art.
Yesterday’s front pages of the New York Post and Newsday, Long Island, ran three headlines with accompanying art touting three inside stories while the New York Daily News ran two headlines, each linked to art, plugging inside pieces.
Now compare these efforts with 50 years ago when 15 to 18 stories started on the eight columns of front pages of major newspapers.
That made things newsy and interesting.
And it grabbed readers --- as circulation swelled.