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In San Jose (Mercury News), Downsizing With Dynamite (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Washington Post ^ | November 19, 2007 | Howard Kurtz

Posted on 11/19/2007 12:08:59 PM PST by abb

The reinvention of the San Jose Mercury News began with an undercover operation.

More than 100 staffers fanned out to places like a nearby Starbucks, asking people what they thought of the paper, disclosing only that they worked for a local media company. Now they are cooking up plans for a smaller, radically different product.

"The very top of the organization is saying, blow up the newsroom," says Chris O'Brien, a reporter immersed in the overhaul effort. Under one prototype, the paper would be cut back to three sections: Live, Play and Innovate. In a second blueprint, it would junk everything except Silicon Valley business news.

The Mercury News is limping along with 200 journalists -- half the number who were employed several years ago. In the last 20 months the paper was sold by the now-defunct Knight Ridder chain to McClatchy Newspapers, which then spun it off to Media News, owned by Dean Singleton. The current goal is to slash the print edition further and shift two-thirds of the remaining staff to the Merc's Web site, up from 10 percent now.

In an era of declining circulation and shrinking budgets, virtually every paper in America is trying to jazz up its product while beefing up its online presence. But the effort in San Jose, where the Internet bubble popped hard in 2000, may be the most ambitious -- or the most desperate.

snip

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; biasmeanslayoffs; dbm; liberalmedia; msmdeathwatch; newspapers; sjmerc; trysellingthetruth
GONE WITH THE WIND - 2007

"There was a land of Publishers and Editors called the Newspaper Business... Here in this pretty world Journalism took its last bow... Here was the last ever to be seen of Reporters and their Enablers, of Anonymous Sources and of Stringers... Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization Gone With the Wind..."

With apologies to Margaret Mitchell...

Oh, fiddlededee!

1 posted on 11/19/2007 12:08:59 PM PST by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 11/19/2007 12:09:27 PM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: martin_fierro

ping


3 posted on 11/19/2007 12:14:36 PM PST by null and void (No more Bushes/No more Clintons)
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To: abb

“The Mercury News is limping along with 200 journalists — half the number who were employed several years ago.”

That is still about 190 more liars/er journalists than they need.

They could get by with 10 or less. Howard Dean and the DNC could write their national political hate Bush, Conservatives, Republicans, Military and Christians lies.

The State Rat Party could write the State lies and hate articles.

La Raza could write the PC articles praising illegal aliens, er the wonderful non documented.


4 posted on 11/19/2007 12:16:39 PM PST by Grampa Dave (("Ron Paul and his flaming antiwar spam monkeys can Kiss my Ass!!"- Jim Robinson, Sept, 30, 2007))
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To: Grampa Dave

...and no one would be able to discern the difference in the paper...


5 posted on 11/19/2007 12:18:54 PM PST by null and void (No more Bushes/No more Clintons)
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To: abb

>> The Mercury News is limping along with 200 journalists

Boo hoo.

I love the way they call themselves “journalists”. How delusional. Their true profession is “DNC campaign workers”.


6 posted on 11/19/2007 12:32:50 PM PST by Nervous Tick (Retire Ron Paul! Support Chris Peden (www.chrispeden.org))
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To: abb

NYT hit another 10-year low today and is down almost 5% for the day.


7 posted on 11/19/2007 12:33:07 PM PST by Crawdad (I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no class.)
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To: abb

They may have “journalists” at the SJ Monkey but they have no journalistic integrity.

Sadly, it’s either the monkey or the SF Comical and I have to select the lesser of two evils to light my BBQ with. . .


8 posted on 11/19/2007 12:34:57 PM PST by Filo (Darwin was right!)
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To: abb

I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout savin’ an MSM newspaper.


9 posted on 11/19/2007 12:37:03 PM PST by 6SJ7
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To: abb

The mercury news has always been a rag good for lining bird cage bottoms. My dogs also know instinctively what to do on it.


10 posted on 11/19/2007 12:40:54 PM PST by californio
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To: null and void

“and no one would be able to discern the difference in the paper...”

You are correct.


11 posted on 11/19/2007 12:57:42 PM PST by Grampa Dave (("Ron Paul and his flaming antiwar spam monkeys can Kiss my Ass!!"- Jim Robinson, Sept, 30, 2007))
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To: 2Fro; all_mighty_dollar; Arkat Kingtroll; Battle Hymn of the Republic; Betis70; billycat95130; ...

Click for San Jose, California Forecast
Send FReepmail if you want on/off SVP list
The List of Ping Lists

12 posted on 11/19/2007 1:20:27 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: abb

As another FReeper said, what in the world do they need with 200 writers??


13 posted on 11/19/2007 1:25:43 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Global warming is to Revelations as the theory of evolution is to Genesis.)
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To: Grampa Dave

The reality is far different when it comes to the number of journalists you need ~ it’s more like 200,000 ~ and no one can afford it so almost all of them work for free.


14 posted on 11/19/2007 3:45:28 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Hopefully, my grandchildre (6 and 8) decades later when asked what journalists did, will say they lied and lost their jobs for lying.


15 posted on 11/19/2007 4:23:47 PM PST by Grampa Dave (("Ron Paul and his flaming antiwar spam monkeys can Kiss my Ass!!"- Jim Robinson, Sept, 30, 2007))
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To: abb

The “Murky News” is dying far too fast to suit me...

All those years of their own snarly brand of “news”, their insufferable P.C. bull squat and sucking up to every “victimized” minority -—— earned us the right to watch them die SLOWLY, PAINFULLY and with lots of CATERWAULING AND CRYING OUT.....


16 posted on 11/19/2007 4:37:52 PM PST by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: river rat

17 posted on 11/19/2007 4:47:31 PM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

Downsizing a newspaper with 'dynamite'

Thomas Lifson
For an industry supposedly in touch with breaking events and trends, the newspaper business has been extraordinarily thick-headed in understanding the looming failure of its traditional business model. Now, this failure is coming home to roost.

We have chronicled the bad bets made by Pinch Sulzberger at the New York Times Company, but others have actually gambled and lost even more money by failing to realize that the internet has changed everything for those who made their living cutting down innocent trees and applying ink to the resulting paper as a method of disseminating the news.

Probably the most spectacular bad bets, surpassing even Pinch's purchase of the Boston Globe,  were McClatchy's purchase of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 1998, followed by its acquisition of the Knight-Ridder chain of papers in 2006. The Strib was subsequently sold for $670 million less than McClatchy paid, and recently McClatchy took an after tax write-down of 1.3 billion dollars on K-R.

McClatchy has sold off a number of K-R properties, among them the San Jose Mercury-News. Today, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post chronicles the downsizing efforts of the new owner, Media News, a company controlled by Dean Singleton, who is renowned for cost-cutting and low cost publishing. Kurtz uses himself uses the word "dynamite" to describe the process.

The article is nothing short of devastating. A couple of highlights:
"The very top of the organization is saying, blow up the newsroom," says Chris O'Brien, a reporter immersed in the overhaul effort. Under one prototype, the paper would be cut back to three sections: Live, Play and Innovate. In a second blueprint, it would junk everything except Silicon Valley business news.

The Mercury News is limping along with 200 journalists -- half the number who were employed several years ago.
After axing half its journalists, the Merc is preparing really significant cuts. Most of the survivors are expected to find themselves writing for the paper's website, not its print edition. They are not optimistic:
An editors' blog chronicling the debate is, at times, brutally candid. "Personality: The Merc has none. Or at least it's not one that's immediately apparent," one entry says. "We repeatedly heard that people felt the writing and storytelling was flat, monotonous. . . . Many Merc staffers remain cynical that the process is going to lead anywhere."

Some comments have also been harsh. "This initiative is about feigning interest in what people want," one man wrote. "Then the Merc will find ways to cut the product even more." Another said the paper's writing style "is not just bland, it's simplistic. Most of the articles seem to be written at a 6th grade level at best."
Perhaps most discouraging of all for newspaper journalists is the news that after all the cuts already made at the Merc, the biggest complaints from readers are over difficulties finding the crossword and Sudoku puzzles in the reconfigured paper.

Well, at least nobody can use the internet to line a birdcage.

Hat tip: David Paulin

18 posted on 11/19/2007 6:20:38 PM PST by Milhous (Gn 22:17 your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies)
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To: abb

bump


19 posted on 11/19/2007 6:24:46 PM PST by VOA
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To: Milhous; neverdem
So they are looking for “Personality...” and “trying to re-write their paper to get more “personality” ...

Why don’t they try “Integrity” or “Honesty” ?

Then they’d have a national audience that WOULD subscribe to their “new” paper.

20 posted on 11/19/2007 6:34:34 PM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: abb

That’s EXACTLY how I feel...

I’ll take great pleasure in watching the “Murky News” die, then I may decide I want to swoop down and take a bite or two.

Love the picture!


21 posted on 11/19/2007 8:29:23 PM PST by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: abb

Heres the daily news from that rag:...race,race, race, immigrants, bi=lingual, race, race, discrimination, bush bad, war is bad, lack of education funding,,race,race, hispanic parade, race, gay this-gay that, discrimination,glorious immigrant populace,race, whitey bad, immigrant good, tax the man, race,race,Im a fruit posing as journalist, race,race,gay-that,gay this...


22 posted on 11/19/2007 8:37:23 PM PST by samadams2000 (Someone important make......The Call!)
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To: Milhous

Talk about a bundle of psychoses...

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2007/11/how_to_save_the_san_jose_mercu.html
How to Save the San Jose Mercury News


23 posted on 11/20/2007 9:01:18 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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