I've been reading many takes on the decision by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News to curtail home-delivery to Thursday, Friday and Sunday, to produce single-section newsstand editions other days, and to pitch heavily the digital editions.
For some it spells the beginning of the end. For some it seems a desperate cost-cutting scheme with no central principle. And for others it's a best-of-all-necessary-evils transition that might actually earn the venerable news organizations a lengthy stretch in which to transform.
In the U.S. context, it's a very serious move, more so than it would be in Canada, because U.S. advertising revenue is tied directly to circulation (in Canada it's largely tied to readership, based on surveys, not the hard circ number). And within the industry it's controversial for that very reason: It consciously pitches revenue over the side.
Ken Doctor's Content Bridges has the deepest look into the implications of the decision (although he doesn't touch on the circ/ad revenue issue). He looks at savings, circulation revenue loss, digital editions and new revenue streams through emerging vertical products. What he concludes is that the biggest thing on the table is habit, with the most questions.