Alan Mutter, the former #2 guy at the Chronicle and a CEO of various Silicon Valley start-ups, said much of the paper’s circulation drop may have been deliberate as the paper shed readers in far-off places like Redding. Some of the drop probably came from “Yahooglong,” as he puts it, which makes sense since the Bay Area is so computer-centric. But perhaps the managers at the Chronicle are trying to reposition the paper:
“As the world moves rapidly to focused and empirically verifiable advertising, newspapers have come to understand, albeit belatedly, that they can and must become targeted media. Accordingly, they are paring their circulation rolls to concentrate circulation on the demographics and geographies that advertisers want to reach.”
One thing missing from this discusssion: SFGate, the Chronicle’s web presence. It gets hundreds of thousands of hits a day and is one of the most visited newspapers sites in the country.
I just keep wondering how long we will be reading the Chronicle Magazine and Book Reviews sections ……