In December, the company that has the most movie screens in San Luis Obispo decided to not pay the Tribune to print their movie times anymore. The business that owns Sunset Drive-in and Fair Oaks in AG pulled out months ago.
This isn’t good news for the Trib as the newspaper industry is trying to stay afloat. One of the long traditions for a local newspaper is the ability to grab an issue and see what time the movies are playing at the local theater. Well…not anymore.
I know newspapers have to make money but they also have to have the content to keep people reading their newspaper so businesses will advertise. If you look at it that way, the movie theaters are providing content to the paper that I would think subscribers want to see. Picking up today’s paper, I wonder how many people read the sports section to see the NBA box scores to see what player scored 1 point in a game yesterday between some East Coast teams. But, if you want to see that, the Tribune prints it. EVERY DAY!
To me, local papers are going to survive by being more local. Reprinting wire stories they get from AP or other newspapers across the nation isn’t going to get the younger generation. They need to do more local coverage. For example, they do print the score results from high school games when phoned into them but when have you seen the standings for high school basketball, water polo, soccer, etc.? The Trib does cover Cal Poly sports but how many parents of the Cal Poly athletes or alumini reside in the County? (vs. the percentage of alumni for local high schools that may be interested in following prep sports more closely)
I still like picking up a paper and reading it and hope that the Trib can figure out its place in the Internet-era before it’s too late.