Last Thursday (March 12), one of the fashion industry’s most iconic publications, Women’s Wear Daily, announced that, after 105 years, it would be reducing its print publication from once a day to once a week. Instead, WWD will be refocusing its efforts on producing enhanced digital content via its website, which will continue to be updated daily.
This is big news, at least to me. As a print subscriber to WWD, I look forward to receiving my newspaper each day. Not only does it provide me access to the latest industry news, but there is something about receiving a newspaper that adds to the experience. Sitting down each day and opening up my copy…I take pride in being part of the publication’s century-long history of distributing the latest in fashion and retail to America’s doorsteps.
Now, before I get too teary-eyed, I should clarify that WWD will still be offering daily news coverage. This will be limited, however, to wwd.com, the publication’s digital platform. According to a letter from the editors released in Thursday’s edition, “Daily Digital” will appear in every current subscribers inbox starting April 29. In terms of print, the publication will distribute a weekly edition containing not only news, but more in terms of editorials, interviews, and profiles as well. The final “daily” print edition will appear April 24.
As a subscriber, I cannot really complain. I will still be getting my daily WWD fix, just to my inbox instead of my mailbox. And, honestly, this might even be the more convenient route: I won’t have to wait until 4p.m., AKA homework primetime, to receive the daily edition. Instead, I can wake up with it at my fingertips and read it on the way to school. Still, I cannot help but feel a twinge of sadness when I think about how one of America’s most time-honored publications is succumbing to the onslaught of the digital age.
I know, I know. A blogger whining about the digital age. But the thing is, it’s true. How would people react if the Journal or the Times made a similar announcement? As online-focused as the world may be becoming, daily newspapers are nothing short of national treasures, not just in the United States, but across the globe. They revolutionized the way people received news and have thus far managed to stand the test of time as our world becomes increasingly technology-driven. But, it is all to possible that WWD is simply the first of many of these publications to put tradition and history on the back burner in a desperate effort to keep up with the times.
So, am I “against” WWD’s decision? I can’t say that. It is true that they may be making the best decision for their business. I won’t be canceling my subscription or lobbying or anything like that. But I can guarantee you one thing: I’ll be saving that April 24 print copy of WWD. Because when I’m eighty, even though I’ll probably have a flying car and robot caretaker called Siri 2.0, it might be nice to reminisce about the good ol’ days.