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April 21, 2008 / Toby Dayton

Earnings Season Brings More Awful News For Dailies…

Once again, there are too many stories piling up on my ‘blog ideas’ list, so I have to resort to a list of one-liners and links to the full stories. I know it’s a little lame and doesn’t make for a great read, but it’s late in the day on a Monday, so…

1) Lee Enterprises reported losses in Q2 (shocking!) and reported that more bad news is on the way in the form of a $500-$700 million write-down due to impairment of goodwill. I guess that answers the question of how well Lee’s acquisitions have gone for them.

2) Gannett also reported weakness, with revenue declining 8.4% and earnings falling 8.9%, the 5th straight quarter-over-quarter decline.

3) Tribune CEO Sam Zell goes on a rant in a company meeting. Defibrillation may be required to revive the patient on its deathbed, but it’s mildly shocking to witness (pun entirely intended). So far, the shock therapy doesn’t seem to be working

4) Web traffic growth to daily newspaper sites is slowing to a grinding halt, and key metrics point to significant issues with the increasingly poor quality of the visitors who do hit newspaper sites.

5) Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham begs Columbia University students to start reading his magazine. (Though it’s not a daily paper, the plight of news weeklies is similar to the dailies – they’ve essentially lost their under-50 readership to the web).

6) The New York Times will have to resort to layoffs after too few people volunteered for buyouts. The Times has laid off 2,000 employees (18% of total) in the last 5 years.

And on a lighter, more intelligent note, the Twin Cities was ranked as the 7th smartest city in the country. Very nice and I wholeheartedly agree.

[tags]Daily Newspapers, Decline of the Dailies, Sam Zell, Lee Enterprises, Gannett, New York Times Layoffs, Newsweek, Jon Meacham, Columbia University Students Don’t Read Newsweek, Twin Cities Ranked As 7th Smartest City In U.S., Daily Newspaper Web Sites[/tags]

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