These are dark days in the newspaper industry. The New York Times Company announced today that it is cutting 500 jobs, on top of 200 cut earlier this year. Some of the cuts relate to the Times itself, others to the Boston Globe, which is also owned by the Times company.
Also today, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, both of which are owned by Knight Ridder, announced cuts totaling 100 jobs “because of lower circulation and revenue.”
Just four days ago, the San Francisco Chronicle bought out 90 employees, amid rumors of impending layoffs. Editor & Publisher reported that:
The buyouts come at a time when the Chronicle is seeking to cut costs after several years of multi-million dollar losses, including a $62 million deficit in 2004.
Regarding layoffs in the newspaper industry generally, WNBC notes that:
Newspaper companies have been struggling with slow-growing advertising and a long-term decline in circulation amid changing media habits as more people go to the Internet for news.
As life-long newspaper junkies, we take no pleasure in the industry’s current crisis. Apart from anything else, we web-based commenators need newspapers to produce the raw material for our commentary. But my sympathy for the Times, the Globe, the Chronicle, et al. is tempered by the knowledge that there is a path to solvency, which I think would likely succeed, but that they would never consider: stop being so liberal. Wouldn’t you think that with newspapers nearly everywhere sliding inexorably downhill, just one might consider whether its readers–or former readers–were trying to tell it something? Like, we’re not interested in supporting far-left nonsense?
But no. They would rather go broke than abandon their reason for being, which is, with only a handful of exceptions, promoting the Democratic Party.
Would moderating their hard-left politics help stop the financial bleeding? It’s hard to say for sure. But don’t you think that if they were motivated mainly be economics, just one of our major liberal papers might try it?