Dark day at the BBC as staff learn their fate – The Independent, Oct. 18, 2007

"The cuts to the corporation’s main newsrooms will be deepest of all, amounting to more than 360 lost posts, some 12 per cent of the total staff of BBC News. BBC Nations and Regions will have to cut 500 jobs from the teams that produce local news, more than 8 per cent of the total.
"BBC management is looking to reduce duplication, with specialist correspondents being expected to work for all BBC platforms – website, television and radio – much more than is currently the case."

[As painful as this is for everyone, the BBC is making the kind of tough decisions that more mainstream media should make. Dire circumstances demand drastic action, and the BBC is one of the few media organizations with the balls to begin to reinvent itself. – Ed.]

Big Weeklies Sputter, Smaller Pubs Soar – MediaPost, Sept. 04, 2007

[It’s not a good time to be a broad, general-purpose magazine. Time and Newsweek circulation is trending steadily down, while U.S. News’ numbers are falling precipitously. Meanwhile, Europe’s The Economist and The Week are growing nicely.

What’s strange about all this is that both of the European magazines publish longish, weighty and thoughtful articles. Since the USAToday-ization of the media began in 1984, conventional wisdom has been that the only way to keep readers was to lighten, shorten, colorize and sap editorial content of as much depth as possible. Now it appears that growth is shifting to publications with some gravity. Maybe we’re beginning to lose our appetite for cartoon infographics? – Ed.]

Morgan Stanley Sells Entire New York Times Stake – Bloomberg, Oct. 17, 2007

"The stock has declined 24 percent this year…Other newspaper stocks, including Gannett Co., owner of USA Today, and McClatchy Co., publisher of the Miami Herald, are also trading at 10-year lows because of the loss of advertising to new media such as the Internet and the decline in classified ads linked to tumbling housing sales.

"If Elmasry has sold the stock, `it’s almost a dead certainty there would be a bailout of other institutional holders,’ Bibb said in an interview. `If that happens and there is a sharp drop in the share price, the Sulzbergers have to sit down and decide whether now is not a good time to take the company private.’"

[The Sulzberger family’s vice-like grip on the company has investors heading for the exits. A new $500 million Manhattan headquarters when the Times is laying off staff? You have to wonder what the Sulzbergers were thinking. The fact that the investment has appreciated is irrelevant. This is a publishing company, not a real estate investment trust. – Ed.]

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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2007 at 4:23 am and is filed under BusinessModel, Demographics, Journalism, Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers, OnlineMedia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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