Media General expanded its cost-cutting initiative, announcing plans to lay off 500 employees by July on top of the 250 laid off last year. The reduction amounts to 11% of the companyâ€™s 6,900-person workforce, an unusually deep cut even in these troubled times. Media General has been hammered by its exposure to weak
StopBigMedia.com smells a rat. The advocacy blog notes that Media General was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the FCCâ€™s decision to lift its 30-year-old ban on media cross-ownership. The layoffs are thus hitting geographies where readers already have little choice in media, meaning that Media General will simply hack away at quality in the name of profitability, the blogger alleges. It appears, though, that the FCCâ€™s decision will be reversed by Congress.
The Beaver County Times of
Editor & Publisher reports that editorial cartoonists have been especially hard-hit by the newspaper downturn. Two decades ago, the industry employed about 200 cartoonists. Only about 85 are left. Latest casualties: Jake Fuller of the Gainesville Sun and Dave Granlund of the Metro West Daily News.
The Washington Postâ€™s Howard Kurtz pens an unusually frank column on the state of the newspaper industry. Kurtz lists the names of talented colleagues who are leaving the paper and speculates about political maneuvering, but then closes with an honest account of the management mistakes and demographic trends that have led to this predicament. Quoting: â€œIf newspapers wither and die, it will be in part because the next generation blew us off in favor of Xbox and Wii and full-length movies on their iPods. Network news faces the same erosion. Maybe, in the end, we get the media we deserve.â€
Mother Jones has published photos of the empty San Jose Mercury News offices taken by staff designer
Michael Martin Gee in April. The whole set is available on Flickr.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 26th, 2008 at 7:37 am and is filed under Business News, Demographics, Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers, Regulation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.