Read All About It – The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 28, 2007

[As Wall Street Journal Deputy Managing Editor Paul E. Steiger prepares to step out the door, he pens a thoughtful and dispassionate retrospective on what calls “the collapse of metro newspapers’ business model.” The 40-yet newspaper veteran chronicles the rise of the dominant media companies in the 60 and 70s that led to the post-Watergate “golden age of journalism.” He also tells of some of the spending excesses of that time that may have created too high a comfort level at the dominant dailies.

You’ll find some tidbits about the internal struggles at the Journal during the early days of the Internet. Steiger’s also right in pointing out that most newspapers’ early online efforts were half-hearted and unoriginal. This is ultimately a narrative on the industry’s decline, not an opinion piece about what should be or what should have been. In that respect, it’s frustrating to read. One would hope that a veteran with Steiger’s perspective would offer some opinon about what the industry should do, but he mainly sticks to the story line. In closing, however, he notes that he’s leaving the Journal to head up a small online investigative reporting group funded by two philanthropists. Perhaps his transition to the digital world is the most telling statement of all. – Ed.]

Switching sides – San Francisco Bay Guardian, Dec. 27, 2007
[A Bay Area alternative paper chronicles the diffusion of laid-off journalists into public relations jobs. While many are working for politicians and state agencies, some are in moving into the commercial sphere as well. Will the spinmeistering profession benefit from the addition of more seasoned journalists to the corps? – Ed.]

Seattle Times publisher hints at deep cuts – Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dec. 27, 2007
“In his e-mail, [Seattle Times Publisher and Chief Executive Frank ] Blethen said revenue from print ads will be down by about 9 percent in 2007, with a similar decline expected in 2008. For combined 2007 and 2008, print revenue losses will be about $33 million, he said. In 2000, the paper booked $270 million in ad revenue, while in 2007, it fell below $200 million, he said. ‘Our Seattle Times newspaper losses for the decade will exceed $40 million — a staggering number,’ he wrote.”

U.S. media face troubling 2008 – Toronto Globe and Mail, Nov. 26, 2007
“Experts say advertisers need to remain competitive in a tighteningmarket while keeping costs down, making them likely to boost spending in areas more directly linked to commerce, such as Web search queries. That would benefit companies like Google Inc., Inc. and eBay Inc. But television networks like CBS or NBC and Web companies like Yahoo Inc. that rely on brand advertising could suffer.”



This entry was posted on Saturday, December 29th, 2007 at 8:40 am and is filed under Fake News. 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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  1. December 30, 2007 @ 1:00 am

    […] Read All About It. A great look at newspapers, past and present, from Paul E. Steiger, the departing managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. Worth reading and bookmarking. Via Paul Gillin. […]