There are glimpses of the past and future of the newspaper industry in today's media headlines.
The past: Yet another six-month period of circulation declines, averaging 3.5 percent daily and 4.5 percent Sundays among the nation's top papers, including some real whoppers like a 9.3 percent drop in The New York Times' Sunday circulation. Even people I know who cancel daily newspapers say they'll hang on to the Sunday Times; maybe not so much.
But a few posts away on Romenesko today is a glimpse of the future—or at least one popular future. Today's the day that the Capital Times, in Madison, Wisc., switches to essentially all-online publication, a move it announced a couple months back.
The Cap Times isn't a major newspaper by any stretch, but it's taking the lead in a transition I suspect we'll see more of in the next (very) few years. (In some ways, it's already underway overseas.) Those ongoing declines in circulation and revenue are going to force print newspapers to come to grips with their future, and in many cases, that future will be online. And only online.
More reading: Ken Doctor has a good take on the circulation numbers and what they portend.