Friday, January 30, 2009

Los Angeles Times Kills Local News Section

From LA Observed:

Publisher Eddy Hartenstein has ordered the California section killed, leaving the L.A. Times without a separate local news front for the first time since the paper's early decades.

The publisher decided to fold local news inside the front section — which will be reconfigured to downplay national and foreign news — despite what an official of the paper confirmed ... was the unanimous and vocal objections of senior editors.
[Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Morris Publishing Hires Bankruptcy Specialists

Morris Publishing Group -- struggling under debt and approaching a deadline to sell enough assets to pre-pay its loans -- said Thursday it had retained as financial adviser Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, the same firm that advised Tribune Co. as it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In a terse press release, Morris announced the hiring as well of Neal, Gerbert & Eisenberg LLP, a law firm with a well-regarded bankruptcy practice. [Click for MORE]
Sphere: Related Content

Everyone Gets Kicked to the Curb

Less than three years after its launch as the city's second daily newspaper, The Baltimore Examiner is shutting down, a victim of slower-than-expected ad sales.

Employees of the free tabloid were informed of the closure Thursday morning. The Examiner will publish its last issue on Sunday, Feb. 15. About 90 people will lose their jobs, said Jim Monaghan, a spokesman for Clarity Media Group, the paper's Denver-based parent company. [Click for MORE]

> Layoffs At Disney And Time Warner

> At Reader’s Digest, Layoffs Are Part of ‘Recession Plan’

> Maryland's Capital Gazette cuts 111 jobs

> More Layoffs Quietly Under Way At IBM, Group Says

> Mass layoffs up; cuts at Boeing

> Thousands More Layoffs Announced Today

> Starbucks: More layoffs, stores to close

> Cuts at Page Six Magazine, More Changes at OK!


Barbarian fighting the good fight on Twitter

Themediaisdying copy

It's not hard to find bad news about the media industry, whether it's the plummeting ad revenues for newspapers, the layoffs at magazines or the full-blown ad recession. It can be a real bummer. But what bleeds leads, as they say. A self-described bunch of "concerned PR professionals" have set up a Twitter account called TheMediaIsDying to chronicle media-industry layoffs so that fellow flacks know who to take off their spam—I mean contact—lists. It has attracted more than 10,000 followers. The Barbarian Group's Rick Webb, a firm believer in awesomeness of the Internet, has had enough and, with colleague Noah Brier, begun a rival feed: MediaIsThriving. The feed aggregates evidence of media doing quite well, thank you very much, such as the growth in cable-TV jobs, French movies doing nicely and the Financial Times growing readership after hiking subscription rates. UPDATE: Add another optimistic media-focused Twitter feed to the mix: TheMediaIsHirin.

Sphere: Related Content

Early Internet: A 1981 TV Report on 'Telepapers'

Imagine sitting down at home with your morning coffee, then turning on your computer to read the day's newspaper. "It's not as far-fetched as it may seem,'' San Francisco TV station KRON reported in 1981.
"This is only the first step in newspapers by computer,'' correspondent Steve Newman told viewers. "Engineers now predict the day will come when we get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer. But that's a few years off."

There were 2,000 to 3,000 San Francisco area homes with computers at the time. The experimental network linked eight "telepapers'' to a database housed in Columbus, Ohio. Readers like way-early adopter Richard Halloran of San Francisco could access text, but no photographs, comics or -- significantly -- advertisements.

The participating papers were the two in San Francisco, the Examiner and the Chronicle, plus The New York Times, The Columbus Dispatch, The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Hat tip: GannettBlog Sphere: Related Content

Assessing the Future of TV News

> Hard News on TV Draws Major Ratings Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

College Papers Finally Hit by Economic Downturn

As the newspaper industry has struggled with declining revenue, some analysts predicted that college newspapers would weather the storms of the changing media environment better than their peers in the wider industry.

Now the national economy indicates that the future might not be quite so rosy: The widespread economic pains in the media environment are finally hitting college news outlets, and many college newspapers are scrambling to deal with the squeeze. [Click for MORE]


> Scripps says Post violates JOA
> News you can endow
> McClatchy suspends quarterly dividend indefinitely
> Is there life after newspapers?
> Washington Post gets A+ rating on new debt
> Don't write off the print edition yet, say P-I optimists
> When no news is bad news
> Seattle Times: Carlos Slim stake a danger to N.Y. Times
> Washington Post kills print version of Book World Sphere: Related Content

One-Week Furlough Ordered
for MediaNews California Newspapers

MediaNews issued a statement today that non-union employees at all California properties will be required to take one-week unpaid furlough by the end of March, in order to lower expenses. Managers will have to take two weeks unpaid leave within the same period.

The company is interested in implementing furloughs for their union employees but such a move, it's timing and terms, must be negotiated with the Guild. [Click for MORE]

> Landmark Combining Wage Freeze With Chain-Wide Unpaid Furloughs
> Hutchinson News cuts staff, cites profit decline Sphere: Related Content