Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quick in Dallas switches to weekly

A.H. Belo Corp. plans to lay off 14 percent of the staff of the Dallas Morning News and convert its 100,000 circulation free daily, Quick, into a weekly. Belo says its total sales are off 21 percent this year which includes a 12 percent drop in online sales. It hopes to cut $50 million company-wide.

Quick will now focus more intensely focus on the entertainment interests of young single adults and drop much of the hard news coverage the paper was providing.

The move comes as the Dallas Morning News is about to start a free 16-page broadsheet newspaper called Briefing that is being thrown on the driveways of non-subscribers in high-income areas. When Briefing was announced, rumors about the fate of Quick began swirling. Just this week, the start date of Briefing was changed from Aug. 22 to Aug. 27.

The Dallas Morning News launched Quick on Nov. 10, 2003 in an attempt to head off another free daily planned in Dallas, the A.M. Journal Express. The Journal Express lasted six months. In the four-and-a-half years since then, Quick apparently wasn't able to become a strong enough asset that it could escape the budget ax.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this posting said Briefing had already started, which is incorrect.