Posted by: coastcontact | November 24, 2015

American Publishing in Decline

This situation makes me cry. I have been a subscriber of Newsweek, BusinessWeek, and Los Angeles Times for decades.

A few years ago, in 2008, there was a columnist in BusinessWeek magazine who wrote about the decline in the print media and how it would affect even some of the largest news outlets. That was when BusinessWeek was owned by McGraw-Hill. The magazine was sold to Bloomberg LP in October 2009. Bloomberg has made the magazine flourish if size of the weekly is an indicator. Perhaps that is one of the exceptions. Since Bloomberg is privately held there are no pubic reports on its performance.

Meanwhile newspapers have not done too well. The Graham family had owned both Newsweek and the Washington Post. Newsweek stopped publication and the Washington Post was bought by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. That makes the paper privately owned too.

My home town newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, owned by Tribune Publishing in Chicago, is reducing its staff by 50 or more persons this month. The reductions include significant editors and station managers. Among those being given buyout are the main politics editors for City Hall and California, the bureau chiefs in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas and London, all of the obituary writers, most of the “backfield” editors who handle national and foreign stories, the top editors of features and Sunday Calendar, the editor in charge of Column One stories, the wine columnist, the editor in charge of editing standards, as many as a half dozen photographers, at least that many copy editors, and many more in various positions. Sports columnist Bill Dwyer and general things about Los Angeles columnist Sandy Banks are among the leading writers that will be gone. The Tribune Company has put their printing plant near the downtown area up for sale. Will there be a newspaper after all this is done?

I love the internet but the damage it has brought to news publications has been devastating.

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Responses

  1. Not sure if the internet is so much the problem or the fact that the new owners immediately let go all the good employees and cut costs. Our paper – the Oregonion has been in business for a hundred years. When it was bought out, most good reporters were let go and much of the paper was then outsourced. It’s now totally right wing and just a small paper. When National Geographic was bought by Murdock – first thing he did was to let go over 200 employees.


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