A print renaissance?

Print isn’t just funding our industry’s digital developments, it continues to offer new opportunities. Two interesting developments have emerged this week.

In California, the once redoubtable Orange Country Register has announced it is going to launch in neighbouring Los Angeles.

This is part of an ongoing expansion of the company since it was acquired by Aaron Kushner in July 2012. Kushner has already been linked to a possible acquisition of the LA Times.

Meanwhile The Guardian in London is now producing a new weekly edition of its leading comment and op-ed materials. What makes this particularly interesting is that the material is selected and laid out automatically by “robots”.

I’ve long argued that versioning is a great opportunity for newspapers and no where is this more evident than with the London Independent’s compact i edition, launched as an abbreviated version of its parent paper for only 20 pence (25 Euro cents), its paid-for circulation has grown to a quarter of a million. While the launch of i has had a serious impact on the circulation of The Independent, the incremental levels of advertising have more compensated for the low cover price, and i ‘s editor reports that the paper is profitable.