In case you missed it, last week was a tsunami of media news washouts. Gloomy October brought us into an official Recession, The Global Financial Crisis became the top news story and these things are creating a perfect storm for media shake-ups. The contemporary news scene is opening our brains to a sea change. How are you swimmin' in it?
The almost-100 year-old Christian Science Monitor is ending its print edition daily and going online only, the first national newspaper to do so. The Monitor’s print readers are, on average, in their sixties. Online, they are in their forties. Time Inc., the world’s largest magazine publisher (24 magazines in the U.S. including Time magazine, Fortune, People, InStyle, Money and Sports Illustrated), plans to cut 6 percent of its work force — more than 600 positions. Conde Nast is cutting 5% of all magazine staffs (this includes the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Glamour and others). The nation's largest metropolitan newspapers continue to suffer declines, ranging from almost 2 percent for The Washington Post (whose parent company also owns Newsweek), to 13.6 percent for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the sputtering economy will probably only compound matters, according to Columbia Journalism Review.
And, it continues: the Tribune Co. had declared that it would reduce the newsroom of The Los Angeles Times by 75 more people, leaving it approximately half the size it was just seven years ago. TV Guide was sold in October for one dollar. That, alone, tells you something about the changing face of media. The whole body is changing and media is getting skinnier. Even Playboy magazine is cutting costs, moving to a lighter weight paper.
Another NYTimes story this last week: Gannet, the nation's largest newspaper chain, will cut 10% of workers in the US as it profits slip. The layoffs won't apply to USA Today but to the company's 84 other daily newspapers in the US and more than 800 small, non-daily local newspapers. One NYTimes writer: Clearly, the sky is falling. The question now is how many people will be left to cover it.
Editor and Publisher writes: Statistics show that baby boomers (those between 44 and 62), are the largest demographic of loyal print readers in the U.S. The only group that boasts a higher percentage in readership is people over the age of 62. According to an August report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, the percentage of those who say they had read a newspaper on a given day has dropped from 50% in 1998 to 34% in 2008.
I started studying the media changes in September as the media grabbed the "crisis" and played it out with headlines. On September 30 the New York Sun ceased publication and by the end of October the first daily print newspaper went completely online.
And so go the changes...
Blogging on the subject starts with
Bigge$st Cri$i$ and Media--
Media Grabs the Big Story: Global Financial Crisis
The Art and Names of the Global Financial Crisis
How Now Brown (Economy)
Panic, Collapse & Meltdown overtake Crisis as Descriptive Word