Sunday, December 07, 2008

More So. Fla. newspaper woes

It's been a rough year for South Florida's daily newspapers.

The Palm Beach Post, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald have all cut hundreds of jobs in an effort to stem losses due in part to declining readership and ad revenue.

The Palm Beach Post recently cut 300 jobs in the paper's Production, Mailroom and Transportation departments after announcing that the paper will now be printed at the Sun-Sentinel's Deerfield Beach printing plant.

And we learned yesterday that the Herald - which has already been hit by two rounds of job cuts - may be up for sale by parent company McClatchy.

Now comes word that the privately-held Tribune Company - which owns the Sun-Sentinel - "has hired bankruptcy advisers as the ailing newspaper company faces a potential bankruptcy filing," according to a post on the New York Times website.

All three South Florida newspaper now have content sharing arrangements in what was once one of Florida's most competitive newspaper markets.

Earlier this year the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald entered into a distribution deal in which each paper now delivers one another's products in their respective counties.

Readers of the Herald have noticed for months the effect that the belt-tightening and job cuts at the paper have had on both the quality and quantity of news produced by what was once one of the Southeast's most prestigious, powerful and influential information sources.

Look for more cost-saving agreements and consolidation of resources between the three papers in the months to come. The bosses at all three publications undoubtedly are finally coming to the realization that their hopes for survival are now inextricably linked.

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