Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Globe's new niche
Here's an interesting development: the Boston Globe has launched a new sports tab called OT (which stands for Our Town-Our Sports), kicking off with a press run of 20,000 copies to be sold for 50 cents a copy. The venture apparently has no real online component except a blog. So much for my theory that to succeed in the future, news ventures need to be built around an online-first presentation. But of course, the differences are that (a) Boston is a completely sports-crazy town, (b) the Globe has a fine, edgy sports team capable of doing more, and (c) we're talking about sports here, not news, and when it comes to sports, you can sell print, TV, online, T-shirts, videogames — hell, people will even pay to go to a live sports event. What we have here is a niche product. If it succeeds, and I think it will, I would not be surprised to see the Globe try out an entertainment tab, visitor guides, and even publications aimed at niche demographics like mothers, working women, the elderly, and singles. It's all part of the fracturing of the once-monolithic interests of the American public, which is demolishing the newspaper business while creating many other opportunities (as I expounded upon previously).