Back between 1988 and 1993, when I was the editor of The Monterey County Herald in Monterey, California, a place so beautiful that I would not have been surprised if the Almighty Himself was a subscriber and read the paper on the porch of heaven, we put out the paper seven days a week with a staff of 52 full-time equivalents.
The circulation wasn't large (about 37,000 on Sundays), the paper wasn't thick and the coverage area was only about half a dozen communities, not a whole metropolitan area.
Still, that experience led me to believe that an editor could still put out a fairly decent paper with a modestly sized staff.
That has been an encouragement to me amid the general buyouts and layoffs now epidemic in the newspaper business (the Post-Gazette said goodbye last week to more than 20 journalists, some of them my old friends, who accepted voluntary buyouts).
Shrinking doesn't have to be fatal - or so I have believed. But then comes news like this today from the Associated Press, which reports that Detroit's two daily newspapers will publish only three days a week while urging readers to go to their Web sites.
Three days a week! Newspaper readership is a habit. Break the habit and you risk breaking the industry. I hope the PG never comes to that.