The Buffalo News continues to blame everyone but themselves for the continued deflation of Warren Buffett’s wallet.

In 2012, the ill-advised Buffalo News decided a paywall would be the end-all solution to their financial problems.  They joined newspapers across the country who once thought locking down all of their content behind a paywall would eventually increase their audience.

The paywall is clunky, buggy and easy to penetrate. Anyone with a little internet prowess can easily skip right over it.

While the paywall may have slightly increased profits, it continues to have a negative impact on the paper’s google juice and their ability to reach new audiences.


The Buffalo News is often not even in the top 5 of Google’s search results.  Take a look at their current top story about the Children’s psychiatric center.Unless you type the story headline almost exactly, they usually don’t even make the first page:

Six years later and rather than focusing on ideas to expand their audience with better editorial content and fresh features, the Buffalo News still looking for some technological silver bullet.

Connelly announced today that the newest attempt to stop the financial bleeding is to block 40% more of their already deplenished audience by claiming that:

“as of today, you won’t be able to read with an ad blocker turned on – unless you are a subscriber.”

That’s just stupid.

Buffalo News Editor Mike Connelly continues to blame google chrome as an apparent reason the News’ profits are down:

More than a quarter of readers already use an ad blocker. When Google decided that new versions of its Chrome browser would block ads by default – 40 percent of visitors use Chrome – we decided we had to join the legion of publishers who block ad blockers.

If the news is facing an ongoing issue with ad blockers, it is most likely caused by bad site design and intrusive ad formats that aren’t compliant with common practices. Especially that ridiculously annoying top ad space they’ve been pimping lately:

The built-in adblocker will stop showing all ads on any sites that repeatedly display any one of a list of the most disruptive ads, as decided by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) – a group of advertising and online media companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and a collection of publishers including News Corp, Thomson Reuters and the Washington Post.

Among the list of banned ad types are anything that pops up, makes noise, blocks the screen or won’t go away. But it also includes sites with an advert density of over 30%.

Chrome’s approach to adblocking is therefore quite different to other adblocking tools. Instead of outright blocking all ads, Google will inform sites that contravene the CBA guidelines, give them 30 days to rectify the situation and only then block ads from sites that persist.

Chrome will pop up a notification if a user lands on a site where all the ads are blocked allowing them to allow adverts on that particular site.

Even with a monopoly as Buffalo’s daily Newspaper,  they continue to play the victim when it comes to the internet and technology. Instead of playing the victim, the Buffalo News should be putting more effort and money into a better content experience.

Blaming readers and technological advancements for their own inability to remain financially solvent is stale and lacks forward thinking.

Kind of like…well…the Buffalo News.