Print Death Spiral
I usually don’t devote too much time to the Newspaper format, but yesterday’s announcement about massive layoffs at The Daily News in NY is worth taking a pause for. Even if you’re not a native New Yorker, you’ve felt the cultural relevance of The Daily News over the years. It was once the largest paper in circulation in the US, and was the real-life model for the fictional The Daily Planet in the Superman anthology. Despite its legacy, the DN has succumbed to the same pressures facing the entire print industry, with a massive migration of readership and ad revenue being lost to the internet.
Yesterday executives from Tronc, the Chicago-based owner of the DN, announced the laying off of half the staff in the newsroom. No level of job was exempt from the hatchet job, with the elimination of journalists, researchers, photogs, etc.. Even the paper’s Editor and Asst Editor were let go. Following the layoffs Tronc issued the perfunctory statement that “today’s actions will position The Daily News for growth in the years ahead.” That’s sounds like something you’d say during a corporate eulogy.
The sad reality is that Newspaper is a dying media which is being replaced by its digital contemporaries. My only hope is that many of the hard-working professionals who lost their jobs yesterday will find employment on the other side of the digital divide, still covering the daily news as they always have.