Sinking like a stone into the murky Mersey is the Oldham Echo's sickly sister, the Daily Post (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/aug/27/regional-abcs-morning-liverpool-post ):
"Trinity Mirror's Liverpool Daily Post was the biggest circulation faller among the English regional daily morning papers in the first half of 2009, down by more than 18% year on year.
"Liverpool's morning daily recorded an average circulation of 11,648 per issue during the six months to the end of June, down 18.4% compared with the same period in 2008, according to the latest figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations."
These are grim times indeed for the paper whose future was already looking imperilled due to the Oldham Echo becoming a morning tabloid.
One paper which has taken a novel approach to falling circulation & revenues is the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/ ), according to Roy Greenslade on his media blog earlier today (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2009/aug/27/new-york-times-theguardian ).
Greenslade reports that NYT columnists will double up as tutors in adult education courses for its readers, adding that "readers can pay $125 (£76) to $185 (£115) to study for a week under their journalist tutors."
The measure follows the Guardian's move towards "a readers' club" in order to maximise revenue in the internet age. Greenslade concludes:
"The NY Times and Guardian initiatives are turning the theory into practice. I believe these measures are a precursor to a more participatory, collaborative form of journalism, although I also concede that some may well see the NY Times's columnists acting as tutors as a confirmation of the priestly status of journalists."
[There's more on the NYT's initiative at these links: http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/08/newspapers-find-a-new-way-to-monetize-their-journalists/ & http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rory-oconnor-members-only-journalism-c_b_269277.html .]
Where the Big Apple leads, Oldham Hall Street could follow; just as the likes of Paul Krugman could hold masterclasses on the economic effects of climate change, & Maureen Dowd could host seminars on the battles Obama faces with Capitol Hill, Richard Down could hold forth on the wonderful architecture of the city's new buildings, & Paddy Shennan could advise students on how to avoid penning irrelevant, parochial, feel-good, third-rate copy on how fortunate we all are to live on Merseyside.
After all, Alastair Machray, editor of the Oldham Echo, has compared his publication to the NYT (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-from-echo-chamber.html ).
What better way to confirm the "priestly status" of the scribes on Oldham Hall Street?
20.20 BST Update: the Oldham Echo's circulation figure is down by 10.1% to 92,093 over the six month period from January to June of this year, according to figures published by the Audit of Bureau Circulations.