By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

At newspapers, the slashing continues

Budget-slashing at newspapers continues, both locally and nationally.

At the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 36 positions are being cut and zoned local editions are being eliminated, according to the Daily Worcesteria, which adds: “This is the journalistic equivalent of bunkering in at the last, strongest point and abandoning the outposts.”

Ironically, the Daily Worcesteria is part of Worcester Magazine, which is shedding positions following an ownership change, reports the, uh, Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The T&G, as you probably know, is owned by the New York Times Co., whose New England Newspaper Group (the T&G, the Boston Globe and suffered a 24.5 percent loss in advertising revenue in July as compared to the same month in 2007.

Things are at least as grim on the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley, as CNHI, the corporate owner of the Eagle-Tribune papers, announced this week that it is eliminating 52 jobs, writes Boston Herald media reporter Jessica Heslam. The chain comprises the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, the Daily News of Newburyport, the Salem News and the Gloucester Daily Times.

And it’s no better elsewhere. Alan Mutter, who writes the Newsosaur blog, tells us today that newspaper revenues are down $3 billion over the first six months of 2008, bringing revenues to their lowest level in a dozen years.

Even online revenues are slipping, Mutter says, which shows that what’s happening now has as much to do with the economic recession as it does with the stampede from print to the Web.

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  1. Aaron Read

    And what’s REALLY terrifying is that this is all happening during an election season that is, perhaps, the most news-intensive since 1992. Can you imagine how much the revenues are going to plummet after the cycle ends in November?Admittedly, to some degree the costs will also drop (the Democratic primary battle badly drained a lot of media outlets’ budgets) but I have to think revenues will be even worse come the end of Q1 2009.Dan, in your learned opinion, is this the first signs that the reckoning has finally come for print media?

  2. MeTheSheeple

    One of the commenter at Newsosaur redid the numbers with constant dollars and put them in a broader historical context. The chart looks pretty scary, surely, but … but … so we’re coming back to 1982 levels? That after some economic troubles, before a lot of newspapers found ways to reconnect with readers (Thank you, USA Today), and other widespread changes.Craigslist and Monster and the like have permanently stripped away some newspaper advertising, but the overall economy is probably the more immediate problem: It takes a lot of foreclosure ads to compensate for the loss of one car dealer ad.

  3. Amused

    Never a great newspaper, despite its two Pulitzers (one deserved, the other, for its Willie Horton coverage, was denounced by even one of the reporters who helped win it).However, recently, its idea of “news” is a concoction of minor traffic accidents, petty crimes and dutiful chronicling of public meetings with no questions asked. Not only is there nothing approaching investigatory journalism, there is no probing, no enterprise, no perspective and very little news. Kind of like the Daily Times of Woburn or Attleboro Sun Chronicle with more circulation, a bigger coverage area, and less of an excuse.Apparently the Alabama public employee unions, whose pension funds own the paper, want to give us a preview of what journalism will be like when one-man blog-shops replace newspapers.I have seen the future (in fact I paid 50 cents for it). It is not good.

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