Metropolitan newspapers in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and other places, seeking to survive, are embracing tablet editions to the point of marketing their own e-readers, most of which seem to be Android tablets. It’s a noble effort to avoid extinction but I’m here to tell you it won’t work. Private label tablet computers are a bad idea for newspapers.

The reason I can make this statement with such conviction is because I once tried to do it myself. The year was 1993 when I convinced International Data Group (my employer at the time) to create an electronic magazine about Microsoft. We called it Microsquish.

The magazine was intended to be distributed weekly in PDF format over this new […]