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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

December 18, 2008 / Toby Dayton

More Stories I wish I had More Time To Comment On…

• Gannett is planning for more layoffs, and we all get to watch the demise in slow motion thanks to the web and the world of instant communication. Similarly, thanks to the web (and Cheezhead’s tenacious monitoring of all things recruitment), the world knew about layoffs at CareerBuilder before the company had even announced them.

• Fitch ratings, in a report on the media industry, indicated that ‘several’ cities might be without a daily newspapers altogether as soon as 2010. I’d say that’s being overly generous, especially when you look at news coming out about what has happened to newspapers like McClatchy in November.

• Cox newspapers is shutting down its Washington bureau. The decision, in addition to impacting 24 staffers and 5 foriegn bureaus, means that 17 newspapers around the country will have no presence in the nation’s capital. Newhouse News Service made the same decision in November, impacting newspapers in 7 states. At the moment, the entire state of Minnesota, with its dailies, Minnesota Public Radio, and every other news-gathering organizations, has only one full-time staff person in Washington, and when the Star Tribune goes under (which should happen any week now), it will drop to none. This horrifying lack of media oversight in regard to Washington, local statehouses, communities, businesses, etc. will be one of the major story lines in 2009 (far greater than it already is today).

• There are models emerging, however, that are seeking to (and most likely will) fill the vacuum. These include non-profits sites like Minnpost, Voiceofsandiego.org, the Chitown Daily News, the St. Louis Beacon, and for-profit sites like the Huffinton Post (which some feel is more valuable today than many newspapers), Slate (the best political, news, culture & general interest site on the web), and Politico (which just signed a distribution deal with 67 dailies).

• More and more newspapers are continuing to examine ways to work together to share resources and cut costs. The Associated Press continues to get pummelled by this trend, but other innovative partnerships are emerging as well. It looks like there might finally be some creativity and urgency emerging from the daily newspaper industry. Too bad it had to take a nuclear bomb to prompt it.