I’m sorry, but every time a newspaper executive discussing layoffs and buyouts blames things like “a drastic economic slump and the meltdown of the Bay Area housing market” I laugh.
Are you kidding? Is that a joke?
Your profits are shrinking because The World Has Passed You By.
For more than ten years newspaper companies have done Not Enough, and now they (uh, we, I suppose) are paying for it.
So please, folks, when you talk to reporters and give them your quotes about why your company has to cut costs, put the blame where it belongs: On the long series of short-sighted people who have pulled the strings with one eye on quick profits and the other eye on the expense report.
Real estate downtown? Economic slump? Was that really a factor in 2004 or 2005 when the wider Web sped past your pressroom window while you were focusing on making a 20% margin?
It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s that you missed opportunities and continue to miss opportunities to grow an online audience.
Advice to newspaper executives and publishers: Don’t miss too many more opportunities.