As I made my way this morning to the mailbox and adjoining newspaper slot, I noticed an extra thickness to my normal bundle of the Sunday Detroit News/Free Press and Oakland Press. Upon further examination, I found a preview copy of what is to be, as they describe it, “Detroit’s newest…and only seven-day home-delivered metropolitan daily newspaper.” It’s the Detroit Daily Press. For key, core details, check out Crains’ Bill Shea’s story from Friday which provides more information and detail here.
Set to officially begin publishing (and daily delivery) on November 30th, today’s preview edition does a nice job of showcasing the myriad of reporting talent that the new, upstart will bring to bear, most notably: Editors—Bruce McLaughlan (Managing); Cynthia Burton (News); John Smyntek (Features) and Hawke Fracassa (Sports) and Reporters—David Sedgwick (Automotive); Doug Henze (Macomb) and Rob Parker (Sports), to name a few. All bring name recognition and a “trust factor” that will be important for attracting reader interest and, it is hoped, a loyal following.
While 7-day-a-week home delivery is an important selling point, it should not be the end-all, be all. As with any medium, “content is king.” And, with particular reporters geared to focus on the news of particular counties (ala the one-time Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Bureaus of their competition), it would appear they recognize the void in community news holes that currently exists as smaller, hometown papers publish less, go online or shutter entirely. That, I would argue, is where the prime opportunities for differentiation and “making a difference” lie.
And, lest naysayers point to a traditional, printed paper as a concept whose time has come and gone, the Detroit Daily Press has also embraced social media right off the bat, including Facebook, where a couple of hundred early followers have already signed on.
As a PR professional, any new news outlet is welcome. As someone in their 40s, I too miss every day home newspaper delivery. It is also nice to see some “old” journalistic friends returning to the limelight and newsroom. Good luck, gang. We’ll be reading.