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ESPN localization “one more nail in the coffin” for newspapers?

ESPN’s localization continued Monday with the launch of ESPNDallas.com, but does the network’s trend toward local Web sites mean the end of newspapers? “It’s just one more nail in the coffin,” Philip Meyer, a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Vanishing Newspaper, tells Matt Egan. "Success in the media business these days should be defined as sustainability. Newspapers are never going to be the profit machines that they were before the Internet.” But Egan also reports that ESPN doesn’t see itself as a direct threat to newspapers. “As a company, we are fans of newspapers, and not believers they are going away," ESPN spokesman Paul Melvin says. "They face challenges that will force them to evolve, but those challenges have, really, very little to do with us specifically — but rather about the way media and people’s consumption habits are changing.”

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