By paulgillin | November 14, 2007 - 6:58 am - Posted in Paywalls

The Seattle Times minority owner cites an 81 percent ‘loss in value’ – Crosscut Seattle

“McClatchy disclosed on Thursday, Nov. 8, that it wrote off $1.52 billion of the worth of 31 newspapers and other holdings. Buried deep in a quarterly filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission was further news that the writedown included a drop of $69.1 million in valuation of McClatchy’s stake in the Seattle Times Co…What McClatchy stated was worth $102.2 million then is thought to be worth a mere $19.0 million now. And as McClatchy noted in this latest SEC filing, it now sees the loss in value of the Seattle Times Co. as ‘other than temporary.'”

‘NYT’ Introduces Comments on Web Stories — But Worries About It – Editor & Publisher, Nov. 4, 2007

“Quietly, without promoting the move, The New York Times began this week publishing on its Web site readers’ comments at the end of certain articles. This is a move The Washington Post and USA Today, and many other newspapers, began long ago.”

[The decision to add moderation to comments adds costs to the revenue-strapped Times, but the Old Gray Lady isn’t yet ready to let go. Says Times‘ Public Editor Clark Hoyt, ““How does the august Times, which has long stood for dignified authority, come to terms with the fractious, democratic culture of the Internet, where readers expect to participate but sometimes do so in coarse, bullying and misinformed ways? The answer so far is cautiously, carefully and with uneven success.” – Ed.]

First FAS-FAX Numbers: Many Top Papers Take Big Hits – Editor & Publisher, Nov. 5, 2007

“Of the top 25 papers in daily circulation (see chart, separate story), only four showed gains…According to an analysis of ABC figures, for 538 daily U.S. newspapers, circulation declined 2.5% to 40,689,617. For 609 papers that filed on Sunday, overall circulation dropped 3.5% to 46,771,486…For the past several years, publishers, particularly those at major metros, have been whittling back on circulation considered to be less useful by advertisers. Those papers fall into the category of other paid, which includes hotel, Newspapers in Education, employee, and third party copies.

“Of course, the trend points to fewer people reading the paper too as single-copy sales, considered a barometer of the industry, is decreasing at larger rates than the overall top line number — somewhere in the ballpark of 5%.”

[Santa Barbara News-Press appears to be especially hard hit. – Ed.]



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