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Newspapers trim work forces as advertising slows (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Rooters ^ | August 21, 2006 | Robert MacMillan

Posted on 08/21/2006 1:53:27 PM PDT by abb

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The summer of 2006 has brought a rash of notices of job buyouts and layoffs at U.S. newspapers, and experts say more nips and tucks will come as advertising dollars dry up and more readers cancel their subscriptions.

Among others, Belo Corp. (NYSE:BLC - News) said on August 10 its flagship Dallas Morning News wants to cut 85 positions through buyouts as it prepares for a restructuring this fall. A day later, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, owned by privately held Advance Publications Inc., said buyouts were coming.

In July, Tribune Co. (NYSE:TRB - News) said it would cut 120 jobs at the Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT - News) said it would cut about 250 jobs in its printing operations.

Nearly all the recent announcements promise pinpoint reductions rather than deep cuts. The reason publishers prefer a steady trickle, experts say, is that newsrooms are stretched too thin to allow deeper slashing.

"Any time you reduce the staffing of a journalistic enterprise, it's inevitable that you're going to lower the quantity, and probably the quality, of the journalistic product," said newspaper analyst John Morton.

The question facing publishers is how deep can they go?

"If revenue continues to not grow, I think you'll see sort of a steady adjustment in the work force," said Benchmark Co. analyst Edward Atorino.

David Black, the Canadian publisher whose Black Press Ltd. bought the Akron Beacon Journal from McClatchy, told Reuters in a recent interview that some papers can afford to slim down.

"I don't really believe that quality of a newspaper is a direct function of body count in the newsroom," said Black, who also owns the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in Hawaii. "I walk through way too many newsrooms where I see people just talking or looking on the Internet and having fun."

BUYOUTS FEEL BETTER

Whatever the scope of the cuts, they are one of only a few available means to rein in the rising cost of newsprint against cutbacks on advertising, from department stores to cars.

The newspaper industry is girding for fundamental changes as new media, particularly the Internet, attract more readers and advertisers with the promise of free and fast news.

Newspapers' Internet revenue is jumping, but it still represents too small a portion of the pie to turn the industry around. That means that small layoffs and buyouts are one of the few cost-cutting means under their control, analysts said.

Wall Street, sensing an end to the ride but not knowing when it will hit, is punishing most of the stocks. New York Times shares have fallen by 17 percent so far this year and Belo shares are down 23 percent.

Most of the job cuts come through buyouts, which tend to be better for morale than layoffs though they invite problems of their own, experts said.

"A layoff normally means you go on some sort of rehire list," said Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild. "When companies do buyouts, almost always it's about eliminating positions, so the jobs are gone for good."

While buyouts feel better, Foley said, they typically target older, better-paid staffers who harbor institutional knowledge that can be hard to replace.

One of the most high-profile buyouts of the past year was at The Washington Post, involving more than 170 staffers.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dbm; liberalmedia; msmwoes; newspapers
Monday Afternoon Good News...
1 posted on 08/21/2006 1:53:28 PM PDT by abb
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To: abb
Raoul's First Law of Journalism
BIAS = LAYOFFS

2 posted on 08/21/2006 1:53:54 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia; knews_hound; Grampa Dave; martin_fierro; Liz; norwaypinesavage; Mo1; onyx; ...

Ping


3 posted on 08/21/2006 1:54:22 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

Do you have an index of your deathwatch posts?


4 posted on 08/21/2006 1:55:15 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Keep watch for the Mahdi...... he's coming on 22 August!!)
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To: bert

No, I don't. Some lazy Sunday afternoon when it's cold and rainy and the fish ain't biting, I will do that...


5 posted on 08/21/2006 1:56:27 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb
My Law of Today's Journalism

Old Media Will Elect Hillary

6 posted on 08/21/2006 1:57:01 PM PDT by beyond the sea (The truth exists even when ignored.)
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To: abb
"I don't really believe that quality of a newspaper is a direct function of body count in the newsroom," said Black, who also owns the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in Hawaii. "I walk through way too many newsrooms where I see people just talking or looking on the Internet for stuff to print and photos to grab and having fun."

Fixed it

7 posted on 08/21/2006 1:59:47 PM PDT by Uncledave
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To: abb

8 posted on 08/21/2006 2:01:47 PM PDT by A Balrog of Morgoth (With fire, sword, and stinging whip I drive the RINOs in terror before me.)
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To: abb

I started one and then you began to post and were doing a more consistant and better job than I was so I quit. I posted it on fairpress for a public record but I don't know if anyone really looked at it.

I'm not sure an index is necessary, but you have a valuable collection for a researcher trying to put the pieces together before the fall.


9 posted on 08/21/2006 2:04:20 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Keep watch for the Mahdi...... he's coming on 22 August!!)
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To: bert

I think what I'll do is put the links on my profile page. That way anyone can get to them...


10 posted on 08/21/2006 2:06:59 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: bert

Ok. I archived the links to the threads I posted today. This is going to take some time, I've been doing this since late last year...


11 posted on 08/21/2006 2:16:52 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

It's very easy for me to suggest and more difficult for your to do :)


12 posted on 08/21/2006 2:18:11 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Keep watch for the Mahdi...... he's coming on 22 August!!)
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To: bert

LOL. But you are correct. This stuff needs to be archived in one place. I (or someone) needs to do one for the DukeLax stuff, too...


13 posted on 08/21/2006 2:21:01 PM PDT by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

Pinged and in, grazie!


14 posted on 08/21/2006 2:24:24 PM PDT by SaxxonWoods (Free Iran! WARNING! Forbidden Cartoon: .. . *-O(( :-{>. . . .)
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To: abb

No, I think that Luhan hit it. The younger generations are not linear thinkers.
They respond to pictures and sound, not words on the page.


15 posted on 08/21/2006 2:28:42 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: abb
"I walk through way too many newsrooms where I see people just talking or looking on the Internet and having fun."

Hope they are enjoying it while they can. The bell is tolling.

16 posted on 08/21/2006 2:32:51 PM PDT by DuxFan4ever (The next rational liberal I meet will be the first.)
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To: abb; bert
FWIW my fairly current index of DBM stories with hard data (eg financial results) versus opinion pieces. My index got segmented by company because bad news about the media experienced exponential growth during the past year.

As hard cord DBMers already know, I always like to preface my index with a little bit of preaching:

Gn 22:17 your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies

Anyone With A Modem Can Report On The World

. . .

[Hillary Clinton] said, "We're all going to have to rethink how we deal with the Internet. As exciting as these new developments are, there are a number of serious issues without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function."


Newspaper sale$ decline should be blamed on the Journos

. . .

People who work at journalism full time ought to be able to do a better job of it than people for whom it is a hobby. But that's not going to happen as long as we "professional" journalists ignore stories we don't like and try to hide our mistakes. We think of ourselves as "gatekeepers." But there is not much future in being a gatekeeper when the walls are down.


Study: Web is the No. 1 media - 06/06/2006

TRB

'Newsday' Circ Falls in Latest Audit - 08/16/2006
Tribune July revenue down 1.4% - 08/15/2006
Tribune's 2Q net income down 62 percent - 07/14/2006
Moody's cuts Tribune to "junk" on share buyback - 06/15/2006
Moody's downgrades Tribune long-term debt ratings - 05/23/2006
Tribune consolidated revenue fell 3% in April - 05/17/2006
Tribune 1Q Profit Slides - 04/13/2006
L.A. Times Drags on Tribune Revenue (200 *more* layoffs expected) - 12/02/2005
Arrests made in Newsday circulation scandal - 06/16/2005
Los Angeles Times Reports March Circulation (Down, down, down) - 05/02/2005
Tribune Company (LA Times parent) Admits Inflated Circulation Numbers At Two Papers - 06/23/2004

WPO

Washington Post net income dips, revenue rises - 08/04/2006
Big hurt: Washington Post's struggle - 03/17/2006
'Washington Post' To Cut 80 Newsroom Jobs, Sources Say - 03/10/2006
Charges sap Washington Post profit - 03/01/2006
Newsweek Drops Issue, Cites Poor Ad Sales - 07/27/2005
Why Can’t the Washington Post Keep Circulation Up? - 07/23/2004

GRC

Gannett's May circulation lower - 06/12/2006
Study: Web is the No. 1 media - 06/06/2006
Gannett, Tribune downgraded - 06/04/2006
Gannett April pro forma operating revenue down 1.3% - 05/12/2006
Gannett quarterly earnings drop; newspapers struggle - 04/12/2006
Gannett January ad revenue slips - 02/15/2006
Gannett Nov. Revenue Drops 2.1% (Other MSM sinking, too) - 12/08/2005

TWX

Time Warner's Malaise Persists - 06/23/2006
Time Magazine Closes Canadian Bureau - 04/13/2006
TIME INC. LAYS OFF 250 - 04/07/2006
Time Inc. Gets A U.S. Subpoena About Circulation - 09/24/2005

NYT

N.Y. Times Co. July advertising revenues decline 3.3% - 08/15/2006
New York Times Stock Falls to 52-Week Low - 07/21/2006
S&P Lowers New York Times Debt Ratings - 07/21/2006
New York Times profit flat as ad market lags - 07/18/2006
NYT to cut paper size and close plant - 07/18/2006
N.Y. Times Shares Decline on Downgrade - 06/09/2006
New York Times Co. April ad revenue falls - 05/17/2006
New York Times earnings drop on higher costs - 04/13/2006
TIMES BOMBS ("paper of record" 2001-04 daily circulation off 19%) - 01/11/2006
TIMES' 4Q PROFIT OFF (attributes costs of 500 job cuts) - 12/22/2005

Others

Riverside, Calif. 'Press Enterprise' Launches Multimedia Strategy, Cuts 50 Jobs - 05/17/2006
Journal Register April ad revenue drops - 05/17/2006
MediaNews Group Records Loss - 05/16/2006
J&J to Skip Network TV's 'Upfront' Market - 05/15/2006
Analysts Expect April Ad Results Will Be 'Flat to Down' - 05/10/2006
Newspaper circulation down, Web readers up - 05/08/2006
FAS-FAX Numbers Show More Circ Declines, Particularly at Metro Dailies - 05/08/2006
Newspaper Circulation Declines 2.6 Percent - 05/08/2006
Lee Enterprises Earnings Fall 20 Percent - 04/20/2006
Moody's cuts Knight Ridder, McClatchy to junk - 04/20/2006
Knight Ridder 1st-qtr earnings fall 53 percent - 04/17/2006
Denver Post aims to cut 10% of news staff - 04/16/2006
Paper's plight is signal to industry: San Jose Mercury News' ad loss to Internet is wake-up call - 04/16/2006
Atlantic City Paper Offering Buyouts to Cut Costs - 04/14/2006
McClatchy 1Q Profit Falls 14 Percent - 04/13/2006
Media General Q1 Earnings Fall - 04/12/2006
BOSTON AD SKID CHILLS TIMES (12% revenue decline the worst of major newspaper groups) - 03/23/2006
GALLUP POLLING DROPS CNN AFTER 'LOW RATINGS'; FULL MEMO REVEALED - 03/21/2006
E.W. Scripps Reports 4Q Loss of $603,000 - 02/02/2006
Knight Ridder profit declines 22% - 01/31/2006
Newspaper circulation down. Sanfrancisco Chronicle down 17% - 11/08/2005
Newspaper Circulation Continues to Decline (NY Daily News DOWN 1.5% - May 2005) - 10/24/2005
Bored readers cutting off Globe’s circulation - 10/20/2005
Denver papers use liberal rules to boost circulation - 08/08/2005
Advertisers Sue 'Minneapolis Star Tribune' Over Circulation Inflation - 06/29/2005
Belo Begins Refunding Advertisers Over Inflated Circulation Figures (Texas) - 05/02/2005
Newsday, Hoy publishers retire amid circulation scandal - 07/19/04
Publishers Seek Scapegoats for Circulation Woes - 07/05/2004
17 posted on 08/21/2006 6:58:38 PM PDT by Milhous (Twixt truth and madness lies but a sliver of a stream.)
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To: abb; Milhous; Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; ...
Media Schadenfreude PING.

Check Freeper Milhous' post #17 for an EXCELLENT summary of the media bad news.

:-)

18 posted on 08/21/2006 8:37:21 PM PDT by an amused spectator (Hezbollah: Habitat for Humanity with an attitude)
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To: Milhous

Hey, good job!


19 posted on 08/21/2006 8:53:30 PM PDT by martin_fierro (If we're still here tomorrow I never said this)
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To: Milhous

Very nice... I'm guessing that in 10 or maybe 20 years, there will be a few surviving newspapers -- you'll be able to count'em on the fingers of one hand.


20 posted on 08/22/2006 5:21:46 AM PDT by ReleaseTheHounds
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To: Milhous

Excellent job as usual.


21 posted on 08/22/2006 7:28:16 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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