From where I sit, it's pretty clear that the major stresses of the newspaper industry will lead to versioned, microzoned newspapers. That's why my IRA sits in Print.
The "news" organization will move to the model of the adopted by Gazette Communications in Eastern Iowa. The short story is that gathering the news is separated from the publishing event. That frees news-on-paper to be a series of versioned newspaper products that will tap a huge underserved market of local advertisers.
Who should a VAR call today?
First, unless you already have the trusted attention of any of the top of the pyramid players, don't waste time. By the time you get the meeting, first movers will be all over the ground. The top of the pyramid can't move fast, have a very, very low risk tolerance and are just now shaking off the "deer in the headlights" syndrome. When they get, the window for real growth disappears. Good for my IRA. Not so good for vendors late to the party.
Focus on the bottom of the pyramid
First call might be to Gazette Communications in Iowa. Follow the link in the 2nd paragraph.
I got the following chart from Seeking Alpha. It turns out that while real estate values are blablabla, they published a list of the top 25 housing markets in the States. I'm betting that every one of them has a family owned newspaper/radio/TV outfit that is too busy making a living to worry about the "sky is falling." Housing market prices are not a bad surrogate for the health of a community. The issue is not to look at the prices, but the direction of movement of the prices.
If you have an OPM/VAR (PSP) in those areas, give them a call. Get the contact info of the local media companies. Get in contact with them to "test out some ideas for making lots more money by doing what they are already doing, just smarter."
Anyway, for your consideration, from Seeking Alpha