HOUSTON PRESS BUYS PN, AGAIN
It’s like Deja Vu all over again! Psych!
Dear Readers, This will be the final issue of the Public News. I never thought that I would have to write this, but the Public News is entertaining an offer by the Houston Press to buy our little newspaper. I’ve made the demands for the buyout pretty high and the folks at Voice Media (the corporate owners of Houston Press) did not blink an eye, at least not that I could tell over the telephone.
From the genesis of Public News 2.0 back in 2006, we narrowed our market reach to the tens of thousands of readers normally ignored by the Press in the north and northwest metro areas. In fact, it’s difficult to find print copies of the Press in the Public News coverage area, something that may have ignited the desire to kill off, I mean buyout, the Public News. When a publication goes into a print death cycle from over 100,000 copies down to around 40,000 the reaction is naturally to kill off competition. This is the sort of thing that happened to Public News 1.0, I can only imagine. I mean, when you really look at it, when the Public News went fully digital, print papers hated the transition. The albatross around the neck of papers like the Houston Press is the question of legacy costs. How do you keep making money when your print circulation is dying off? Again, the answer is to kill off your competition. The Public News is flattered by the overture.
In all honesty, this was an early April Fool’s joke. The Public News is not going anywhere. We are stronger than we’ve ever been. In fact, print papers like the Houston Press are finding out that digital is the way to go. How they find their way there is another story. We wish them well as they learn to play in the digital backyard that the Public News has called home since 2014. Our numbers are going up. Readers are loving the fact that you don’t have to get dressed, get in the car and waste gas looking for a copy of the Public News. We’re online! We are downloadable! We have all back issues available to read with our distribution partners. We figured out the way to monetize this little newspaper’s existence. No matter what the Press does, the Public News has already won.