Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Keeping watch on the canaries in the coal mine ...

A few recent notes on the steady decline of newspapers:

  • San Diego newspaper staffers are so desperate to take buyouts that they slept in the lobby of their building last night so they could be first in line to apply today.

  • Rumors are swirling that the Tampa Tribune may soon publish a one-section newspaper. Fewer pages for news means fewer ads being sold.

  • The Sacramento Bee and and other McClatchy newspapers quietly announced last week that they are offering even more buyouts to employees just two months after McClatchy ordered a 10% reduction in the workforce at all of the chain's newspapers.

    So far the Herald has not announced any more cuts but a source reports that newsroom staffers are walking on eggshells and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  • Broward New Times blogger Bob Norman reports that the "Sun-Sentinel, WSFL-TV, and the Orlando Sentinel have taken their collective Internet content -- otherwise known as their future -- out of the hands of journalists and given it to marketing chief Jeff Levine."

    Traditionally newspapers have maintained a wall between the news and business departments. It appears that's no longer the case at the Sun-Sentinel. Distressing.
  • 1 comment:

    1. Giving the Internet content over to marketing is a long-time marketing dream, but a real loser. They may pretend they know their market, but they do not. I see a future of advertorials (marketing people want that) promoting Chrismas sales at selected stores, new toys on the market this year, and pieces speculating the bottom of the real estate market has arrived. It will be that transparent, and once it happens, there will more trust in newspaper Web products. You can fool some of the people some of the time, etc., etc.
      Yes, I also hear rumors at the Miami Herald of even more drastic cuts coming, largely fueled by the miserable back-to-school ad season and the failure of the Olympics to bring any sort of an ad bounce. But the biggest cuts will come when Xmas contracts fall through. Ads have gone to the Web, and I don't think newspapers are going to get them back this year.


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