Big names are in big troubles
Saving print media without sufficient advertising revenues and sponsors is impossible but if outsourcing editorial and packaging works can save costs and help newspapers survive, why not try it? Without a change in the mindset of the people in the media, there is less we can do to save the U.S. newspapers going bankrupt or shutting down. And the online transition isn’t going to be smooth either. I don't think many people are ready to buy the idea of outsourcing. Well, outsourcing isn’t a sin. But it can't be a long-term solution either. We are going to lose some more papers, let’s face it. We can only hope the fittest newspapers survive the crisis and keep the ink-and-paper media alive.
Martin Langeveld writes What kind of changes will bankruptcies force on newspapers?:
a.) Consolidation at a corporate level: A large consolidated entity with a new vision might attract new investment.
b.) Consolidation at the city and regional level: As we’re seeing in Denver and Seattle, fewer areas will sustain multiple newspapers.
c.) An accelerated move to online-first (and only-only in some instances).
d.) Vertical de-layering: A delayered organization would keep the capacity to generate content and to sell advertising, and would let someone else own their buildings, their presses and their distribution organizations.
e.) Merge or collaborate with other local media.
Sharing stories to survive?
The Blade has gotten notice in the past year for being one of the eight founding members of the Ohio News Organization, a collaborative in which the state’s major papers freely share their stories (and now their photos and graphics) with one another. All the Ohio papers have seen major cutbacks in recent years — The Blade’s newsroom staff is about half the size it was five years ago — and their willingness to beat swords into plowshares has been a model for other cooperatives around the country among papers with declining resources.The proof of crisis: Worse yet to come?
An unverified report caught my attention that "the New York Times is outsourcing their internet operations to a unit of Mumbai India Newspaper publisher Deccan Chronicle."
AFP, March 11:
The Miami Herald Wednesday said it will sack 19 percent of its workforce, and slash the wages of its remaining staff, two days after parent McClatchy Co. announced major cuts due to falling revenues.
The Miami Herald said the measures, which included significant pay cuts, were part of McClatchy Co. decision Monday to eliminate 1,600 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce, because of falling advertising revenue and the weak economy.
McClatchy is the third-largest newspaper chain in the United States with some 30 daily newspapers, including the Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Kansas City Star, and some 50 non-dailies.
Like other US newspapers, it has been struggling with a steep decline in print advertising revenue, falling circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.
Other recent victims of the media downturn include the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which on Tuesday told its 170 employees they may lose their jobs as early as next week, and the San Francisco Chronicle, whose union workers earlier this week agreed to major concessions to keep the daily alive. Both dailies are owned by the Hearst Corp.
The New York Times on Monday said it had reached a sale-leaseback agreement to rent out 21 floors of its 52-story Renzo Piano-designed headquarters to raise 225 million dollars to pay down its debt.
BBC, Feb 27:
The New York Times is struggling to service debts of some $400m, amid dwindling cash reserves and plunging revenue. Last year it had to mortgage its gleaming new headquarters (built in 2007 with much fanfare) to bolster its cash flow.
The Tribune Company, which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun and many other titles, filed for bankruptcy in December, and although its newspapers remain in publication, the repercussions of the bankruptcy filing are likely to lead to restructuring.
Three other newspaper companies have also filed for bankruptcy in recent months: the Star Tribune Holding Corporation (which owns the Minneapolis Star-Tribune), the Journal Register Company (which owns the New Haven Register and a number of other titles in the North-East), and Philadelphia Newspapers LLC (which owns Philadelphia's two top newspapers, the Inquirer and the Daily News).
Media Daily News (Dec. 31):
It's a grim New Year for newspapers. As yet another rough quarter draws to a close, we witness the closing of a venerable Midwestern journal, The Cincinnati Post, as well as an alarming new trend: the outsourcing of advertising responsibilities to India.
The Cincinnati Post, owned by E.W. Scripps, is set to close on Dec. 31 after 126 years of publication.
Separately, The Miami Herald announced Thursday that it is outsourcing some advertising production tasks to India as a cost-cutting measure, beginning in January. The New Delhi firm Mindworks will handle copy editing and design for special advertising sections, including a weekly community section covering Broward County. So far, the move hasn't resulted in any layoffs in the paper's Florida offices. However, Herald executives say the outsourcing is a test — implying that some jobs could go to India if it proves successful.
The Miami Herald is actually the second newspaper owned by the McClatchy Co. to outsource to India. At the beginning of December, The Sacramento Bee also said it would experiment with outsourcing some ad production tasks.
Rocky Mountain News: “It’s strange to cover your own funeral”
Bankruptcies: What kind of changes will they force on newspapers?
Newspapers Send Out, Take in Work
What newspapers don't do
Copyediting? Ship the Work Out to India