U.S. News and World Report to stop killing trees

Just heard from a Twitter follower who directed me to an online site that US News and World Report, the #3 news magazine in the country, is dropping their print edition and going strictly to online service. (No, the irony is not lost on me.)

A few weeks ago, I pondered this question a little bit when the Indianapolis Star announced they were switching to a national provider for their local content. Now it seems that US News & World Report has discovered that many of their readers are online, and so are going to quit littering airports around the country.

Is this a precursor to what is going to happen to the newspaper industry? How long will it be before the Indianapolis Star announces they're not in the print business anymore? Or before they start doing a limited print edition and put more of their content online?

More importantly, what will the advertisers say? Whether you like print publications or not, there is just something satisfying about knowing you have a magazine ad. It's permanent, a testament to your existence and marketing spending. An online ad just seems so temporary and fleeting. An online ad can be easily blocked (something I do with AdBlock Plus for Firefox). But you just can't block a print ad without a pair of scissors.

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