More than one-third of newspapers represented at this year’s INMA World Congress expect to reduce print frequency sometime in the future, according to a preliminary survey of delegates.

No one wanted to go on the record on specifics, but most in this group rated reductions as “more likely than not.” Smaller numbers characterised the move as either “very likely” or “certain.”

The upside would be that the other two-thirds of the 250+ respondents said their print newspapers intend to remain in print for the foreseeable future with no cutbacks.

But even they left the option open. Most in this group rated it as either very or somewhat unlikely, stopping short of saying they are “absolutely not going to reduce print frequency.”

Detailed results of the INMA survey will be discussed — along with analysis of the pros, cons, and strategies involved — at the World Congress starting in New York City on Sunday.

Print frequency reductions have been a growing trend in the industry since at least 2008. They rocketed to public prominence in 2012 when the daily Times-Picayune cut back to three days per week, making New Orleans the largest city in the United States without a printed daily newspaper. 

Although the public’s intense attention moved on after that, announcements of newspaper print and delivery reductions have now become routine. The latest, coming in early April, involve three western New York newspapers eliminating Tuesday and or Monday editions.

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