Back in May, I wrote that newspapers need to befriend their enemies in order to survive. Basically, when news and information is your main product, you should be able to deliver what the customer wants, regardless of the source. If you deliver a product that has stories from, say, the New York Times, your readers won’t leave you for the NYT. In fact, they’ll appreciate that your product is giving them what they want without going to all these sites themselves. If you do this well enough, your readers will stay with you.
Call it the Google News effect.
I’m glad to see the Chicago Tribune is catching on. Mike Miner’s blog reports that the Trib’s morning e-mail blast, Daywatch, is beginning to link to stories in the Trib’s competition, the Sun-Times. Give Daywatch editor Charlie Myerson credit for “sweetening” the offerings, although the Trib’s innovation guy seems to take credit for it. But, nonetheless, this would never have happened under the old Tribune regime.
This will further the success of Daywatch, especially if they expand their offerings to suburban newspapers and business journals, such as Crain’s Chicago Business. The only concern at this point is that there is no plans to make it a premium for Tribune or chicagotribune.com subscribers.
It’d be a shame if a great innovation dies because a revenue model wasn’t considered for it.