Friday, June 6, 2008

Cut jobs, cut news hole, cut pages

Faced with a worsening financial situation, Tribune's nine newspapers will go under the knife – again.

The new plan is to "right-size" (must be a new accounting term) nine newspapers by cutting pages and staff, with cutbacks happening quickly; all reductions will be achieved as early as September.

“We have found out we can take about 500 editorial pages a week out of our newspapers in a 50/50 ad-to-content ratio,” C.O.O. Randy Michaels said yesterday; and the result would still “be a good value for the consumer.” Yeah, but cutting more content gathers isn't a good value for the readers. It won't bring them back and if they don't come back, neither will the advertisers. It's a race to the bottom.

We hear newsroom layoffs at the Los Angeles Time may number 120. Straight talk from LAObserved:

Zell and Michaels seem to think that covering the world, Washington and in-depth investigations should take no more time and resources than the crap their other papers churn out. It doesn't work that way. Basically, it sounds as if they have learned nothing from the generations of newspaper editors and publishers who figured it out before — and who actually made tons of money doing it. The Zell long-range model now looks to be less content and less exclusive content, with less depth to that content, produced by less experienced people and delivered to readers in less attractive packages. Yeah, the magic formula to turn around the spiral.
About cuts at the Hartford Courant

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