Are “legals” dying? You bet.
This isn’t a new issue — AIM Group founding principal Peter M. Zollman wrote 12 years ago that legal ads, or public notices, were as endangered as the dusky seaside sparrow, a bird that died out in the 1980s.
Now Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute reports that “state and local governments are almost as pressed as newspapers these days to shave expenses in the face of falling revenues,” so “that has given fresh impetus to efforts that would allow municipalities to post all or some of their legal notices electronically rather than as print advertising.”
In the well-researched, 1,000-word piece, Edmonds says Virginia, Florida and Arizona are among the states this year that are considering the elimination of requirements that public notices appear in print. (For the record, similar efforts have been under way for several years in the U.K. as well.)