By paulgillin | August 4, 2007 - 5:30 am - Posted in Fake News

Recent headlines:

Post-Dispatch offers more early retirement – “Calling 2007 a ‘difficult year for the newspaper industry,’ the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said yesterday it will offer employees early retirement packages. The offer comes less than two years after about 130 employees, including about 40 in the newsroom, retired early…[the publisher said] ‘This is a great market. Our actions now will enable us to face 2008 and beyond in a much better position.'”

Sadly, no. Early retirement incentives don’t solve a systemic problem where costs are wildly out of synch with future revenues. This is putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.

Sun-Times Media Group Weeklies Target Jittery ‘Daily Herald’ Employees
– “In an unusual ad campaign targeting employees facing what might be the first layoffs in the newspaper’s history, the Pioneer Press group of weeklies is offering jobs to staffers of the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.”

Kind of a good news/bad news scenario. I think it points to the growing strength of localized media. It’s actually getting cheaper to publish in print and this could lead to a resurgence of activity at town/community levels. The death of metro dailies could be accompanied by a rebirth of small-town weeklies.

AP to Shut Down Premium ‘Asap’ Service
– “The Associated Press is closing down a 2-year-old premium multimedia service that emphasized nontraditional methods of storytelling, saying that it had failed to gain enough traction with newspaper clients.”

Good for AP for trying this idea, even if it didn’t play out financially. These “nontraditional” methods are the future of journalism, even if the economic model hasn’t yet evolved fully.

And finally…

At the New York Press: Layoffs, Circulation Drop, and No More Hooker Ads!– Manhattan Media, new owner of the New York Press, says it’s going to challenge the Village Voice and build a high-end audience. For starters, sex ads are gone, a move that could cost a million in lost revenue per year. Hooray for a vote of confidence in print and a decision to take the high road.



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