told you that American newspapers are in dire straits. More and more readers are canceling their
subscriptions as they realize they're getting most of their news,
entertainment, and sports information from broadcast stations and their
computers and personal handheld devices.
As a result, even old, reliable advertisers like department stores are
buying fewer or smaller newspaper ads.
Fewer readers and less revenue have created a financial free-fall that
newspapers are scrambling to address.
just the past few weeks:
* The Washington Post Company, which
publishes the newspaper that has been a virtual profit machine, reported its
first operating loss in 37 years. Part
of the hemorrhage went to buyout payments to more than 200 Post staff
members. That meant 200 fewer salaries
the paper has to support.
* The editor of the Chicago
Tribune quit rather than comply with the publisher's order to cut 14
percent of the paper's news employees and shrink the space devoted to news,
also by 14 percent.
* Six in ten U.S. newspapers reported
that they have reduced the number of journalists in their employ in the past
three years. Nearly two-thirds have cut back on foreign news coverage because
it's so costly. Both newspapers and
magazines, once fat with ads and meaty in content, are looking thinner by the
editors insist that their trimmer, graphically bolder papers are easier to read
and more appealing as younger reporters replace the old guard. New Web-savvy staffers are spreading the
newspaper's brand by writing blogs and appearing as TV commentators.
little comfort for reporters who are losing jobs, editors who must close
bureaus, or longtime readers who are saddened by the spectacle of what one
media critic called the incredible shrinking newspaper.