Newspapers don't do headlines like this anymore:
"DEADLY RADIUM TREASURE LOST IN ATLANTA WILL BE TRACKED BY VISITING RADIOLOGIST! YEAR-LONG SEARCH FOR THE PRECIOUS VIALS HAS FAILED! (Atlanta Constitution, 12/12/1939, pg. A1"Actual headline, honest. They went on to call the man a "Sleuth of Science." Now that's eye-catching.
To me, this is why they're dying on the vine: Boh-ring. If they take a page from their forefathers, things will turn around. Just look at these recent headlines transformed:
"Heat on AIG despite returned bonuses" becomes "REVILED WALL STREET FAT CATS BEG FOR MERCY, BUT TO NO AVAIL!"
"Bush to write memoir on presidential choices" becomes "BUSH TO WRITE MEMOIRS! WORKING TITLE: 'IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME'"
"Atlanta still a magnet" into "CENSUS ANSWERS 'WHO ARE ALL Y'ALL ANYWAY?'"Sure, they're misleading, but c'mon. You want eyeballs, after all. Let's get some snarky pulp in there, already. The alternative is to take headlines from vaguely related song titles, as is popular in the blogosphere. Not that I know anything about that, of course.