Detroit's Papers Missing on Red-Letter Day

Freep , News stop delivery on day GM CEO forced out
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2009 6:04 AM CDT
Dave Hunke, Detroit Free Press publisher and chief executive of Detroit Media Partnership answers questions after a news conference.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)
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(Newser) – Yesterday was a once-in-a-lifetime news day in Detroit: GM's boss was forced out, Chrysler was pushed to merge with Fiat, Michigan State made it to the Final Four—and the first day that Motor City's two daily newspapers didn't land on doorsteps to tell readers all about it. Both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press had long chosen Monday to suspend home delivery, replacing a full printed paper with web content and abbreviated editions on newsstands.

"We had an overwhelming—literally overwhelming—number of people trying to get onto the e-edition site," said the editor of the Detroit News, whose site slowed to a crawl under the demand. But getting older readers to adapt to a new format has proved difficult, and some readers found the Internet edition insufficient. "This morning, I felt like something was missing," said one subscriber. "There was this feeling of emptiness."