[News that former Tribune Co. executive Dennis FitzSimons had received a $41 million golden parachute prompted one Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist to express outrage that the payout was so low. Nick Anderson then proposed the “Top 10 ways that Dennis FitzSimons can get a bigger payoff.” They include “Remaining staffers at Tribune papers sell a kidney to go the extra mile for Fitz.” – Ed.]
[Alan Mutter isn’t optimistic about the economy in 2008, and he sees terrible implications for newspapers. If newspaper revenues decline 7.9%, as one analyst has forecast, instead of the generally accepted 5%, then the cost
cuts needed to sustain profitability would amount to 15% of total newspaper payroll. And that’s not all. Debt service costs could increase and papers could be required to make deeper staff cuts to balance increases in insurance and other expenses. Unless the economy rallies, it’s looking like an ugly year. – Ed.]
[This press release notes that the Enquirer “has a team of 40 video producers and online editors trained to generate news stories with video elements â€“ up from eight this time last year.” The newspaper, perhaps emboldened by the recent death of the Cincinnati Post, appears to be making some significant investments in multimedia coverage. -Ed.]
[A columnist sees another tough year for newspapers, with pressure growing for some companies to go private. But there are bright spots at companies like the Washington Post, which is diversifying and growing revenue. More papers should follow the Post’s lead, he says. -Ed.]
[Noting that the internet is “not built on big. Itâ€™s built on a mass of smalls. And newspapers think big. Thatâ€™s their real challenge,” Jeff Jarvis suggests that newspapers brought their current crisis on themselves by focusing their sales efforts on $100,000 advertisers and ignoring the mass of $100 advertisers. He suggests that the only way out of this predicament – if there is one – is to spin off sales units to go after small customers. It’s wise advice, but can newspapers make the attitude shift to embrace the Long Tail? Doubtful. – Ed.]
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