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

Talking about the Globe cuts

If you’re listening to the news on WBUR Radio (90.9 FM) tomorrow morning, you may hear me talking about cutbacks at the Boston Globe.

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  1. cavard

    Dan,The Rutland Herald/Times-Argus of Vermont announced they were cutting 14 newsroom jobs. That’s about 10% of its staff. Pretty sure about that. It’s amazing how thinner and thinner daily newspapers, like the Rutland Herald, are getting. Scary times these are for the traditional media.

  2. smabel

    In a way, I find it odd that newspapers are dying. I realize that the advertising model is fading. That said, it’s hard to watch TV news or listen to radio news or talk shows without constantly hearing, “in today’s globe, I read that…” or, “have you seen the headline on today’s New York Times”?On one hand, papers are dying. On the other hand, the rest of the media still seems to rely on them. Just an observation.

  3. Ani

    The financial sector managed to pull the plug and drain our economy with their exotic investment vehicles, or whatever they were calling them, perhaps the media sector is doing something analogous to itself.

  4. Lisa Williams

    Ani, a lot of those investment vehicles used traditional assets — mortgages, and loans to companies — as their basis. The NYT is $1.2 billion in debt, and suburban newspaper chain Gatehouse is $1.9 billion in debt. This did not happen without access to capital from financiers, many of whom got the money to lend from pension funds. So, lax regulation let financiers take money from our pensions and loan them out to businesses and homeowners who had no viable way of paying them back. The “housing bubble” was also a “business bubble.” The problem at newspapers is not limited to declining print ad revenue; they also have the problem of being in serious jeopardy after taking the bait offered by financiers who could care less whether newspapers survive or not. (Oh: and the biggest pension funds? They tend to be state public employee pension funds. So as a taxpayer, when these investments tank, you’ll still be paying the bill, if you’re a US citizen, to make good on the unfunded pension. Meanwhile, financiers and top execs get golden parachutes and big management fees. They’ll be fine; workers, homeowners, and taxpayers…well…not so much).

  5. fausto

    I heard it! I heard it!

  6. Steve

    Another one bites the dust: Minneapolis Star Tribute files for Chapter 11.Not really dead, though. It’ll “continue business as usual as it restructures.”

  7. Ani

    Lisa,What I was trying to get at is whether the web-based media are succeeding in eliminating the traditional news-gathering operations that they have been relying on. Maybe we’ll all be getting our news through lots of unfiltered grassroots news gathering in years to come. To me it looks like a choice to ditch institutional filters in favor of idiosyncratic filters, for better or for worse.

  8. NewsHound

    Lisa – – – agree wholeheartedly. Some of these newspapers would not be suffering as badly if sellers had not profited with overvaluations in the sale, and buyers had used their own hard earned capital to purchase. This myth of making lots of money with someone else’s pension money is proving it isn’t so good. Historically, many of these newspapers produced a fortune for their owners and if they had stayed as owners they be gong through a few bad years and have to forfeit a tiny amount of the accumualted prior earnings.And, of course you can’t sell newspapers for $1 or more a copy without news any more than you can sell meals in a restaurant without food and a cook.

  9. Nial Liszt

    Daily newspapers entirely lose the next generation when the cost becomes greater than one fast food hamburger. Plus, you get that yucky ink all over your hands and they make you read all those long words and sentences– LOL

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