Monday, October 16, 2006

Making a committment to the Toronto newspaper market

For the second time in a week, the National Post was not on my doorstep when I left for work this morning. Apparently, there was a "delay in production." This happens every couple of weeks and every time it happens, I buy a copy of the Globe and Mail to read on the subway to work since I can usually snag a copy of the Post at the office. This is not the way to run a newspaper.

The source of the problem seems to be that the National Post does not even have its own printing plant in its most important market. In an age of contracting out, that in itself, is not a problem. Many publications can be produced more efficiently at the specialized facilities of commercial printers. The issue for the National Post is that the newspaper is actually printed at the Toronto Star's production facilities. So when there are production difficulties with the Toronto Star, the National Post gets bumped.

If the National Post is to make a credible committment to the Toronto market, it must have first claim on a printing press. It cannot play second fiddle to a competitor publication to the detriment of its subscribers. In the process, it would quickly lay to rest recurring rumours of its impending demise.