A friend asked me today why the newspaper business has gone down the crapper. Off the top of my head, here's my answer:
1. TV took the car and beer ads
2. Grocery ads -- huge, huge earners, were lost to fliers 20 years ago.
3. Department stores -- Eatons, K-Mart, Zellers, Simpsons, Northern, Federation, etc -- whacked by WalMart, dollar stores, etc, which do not buy full-page ads.
4. Help Wanteds lost to 'net.
5. Classifieds lost to Buy and Sell newspapers in the 1980s, eBay and web since then.
6. Real estate ads lost to freebie real estate papers, flyers, now web.
7. Papers became soft, boring, "lifestyle" in reaction. Bad idea. Staffs became old, gentrified, lost touch with young, small town and suburban readers.
It's like a whole bunch of killer competitors sat down and carved up the business.