Back in January I wrote a post on the Herald's future that expanded upon this story on 24/7 Wall Street that predicted the Herald might not survive 2009 in its current form.
Today 24/7 Wall Street updates that prediction.
"The Miami Herald, which has a daily circulation of about 220,000. It is owned by McClatchy, a publicly traded company which could be the next chain to go into Chapter 11. The Herald has been on the market since December, and but no serious bidders have emerged. Newspaper advertising has been especially hard hit in Florida because of the tremendous loss in real estate advertising. The online version of the paper is already well-read in the Miami area and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Herald has strong competition north of it in Fort Lauderdale. There is a very small chance it could merge with the Sun-Sentinel, but it is more likely that the Herald will go online-only with two editions, one for English-speaking readers and one for Spanish."Those scenarios, that might have been unthinkable two or three years ago, aren't so far-fetched in light of news today from Herald parent company McClatchy.
McClatchy's flagship paper, The Sacramento Bee, announced today "it is eliminating 128 jobs today, or 11 percent of its workforce, and will impose pay cuts on remaining workers."
Similar cuts are expected at the Herald, the announcement coming perhaps as early as this week.
Broward New Times blogger Bob Norman reports his sources say "they expect a 20 percent reduction of [the 240 strong] staff in the newsroom, which translates to about 50 lost jobs. Furloughs and pay cuts are expected for survivors."
The Herald now is a shadow of what was once a strong, thriving, dominant source of information in South Florida.
It's hard to imagine what the paper will become after taking this latest hit.
One Herald staffer called me Saturday night after hearing of the Sun-Sentinel cuts last week.
"Our business is finished," the staffer said with a heavy sigh of resignation. "It's over; this is a bloodbath."