US newspaper industry dying

Nick Farrell
The Inquirer
Monday, Sept 1, 2008

US NEWSPAPERS already suffering from stiff online competition, are facing a loss of advertising thanks to the weak economy.

Normally around now newspapers can anticipate boosts from upcoming holiday promotions and ads for new car models, but this year it has not happened.

Now newspapers are laying off hacks while they try to work out how to generate enough revenue from growing Internet audiences to make up for lost print ad sales.

Some newspapers, such as the Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee offered voluntary buyout deals to the majority of their full-time employees. The outfits are going to freeze pay across the company another, Gannett, announced in mid-August it was cutting 1,000 jobs, including 600 layoffs.

The San Diego Union Tribune is to cull staff by more than 75 positions, including some 30 in the newsroom. Earlier this year, the rag gave 117 employees their P45s.

The St Louis Post Dispatch cut 18 jobs, while the Chicago Sun Times is talking about still more cuts.

The problem is that retailers are reducing back-to-school promotions, while employers are placing fewer job ads given the weak economy.

Estate agents are gutted and have been putting in fewer ads too.

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