The business model for newspapers is posed as so: The decline of newspaper advertising revenue (and circulation or readership) is expected to be offset by the gains in digital revenue (and audience).
But is the lonely newspaper Web site enough? Increasingly, newspaper companies are saying no, that the traffic and its accompanying revenue will not net sufficient funds because online advertising is sold at a far lower rate. Even if that rate grows, it won't match eyeball to eyeball the transformation from print into digital.
They're borrowing a page from such studies as Newspaper Next and launching a variety of so-called verticals, leveraging the power of the Internet to reach markets with comparably paltry distribution costs.
The Mecom chain of papers in Europe boasts it's now launching about one site a week, and not just in categories a newspaper would typically occupy --- in such areas as gambling and social networking. To bolster the papers, Mecom is aggressively into promotional giveaways.