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Media Companies Have Only Themselves to Blame

Dec 12, 2008, 20:31 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Elgan)

"Like the US automakers and the music industry, print media companies squandered most of their time and money during boom times clinging to the past rather than preparing for the future. And now they're left totally unprepared for the bust. How bad is it? It's bad.

"The Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy Monday. The company publishes the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and other daily newspapers. The New York Times Co. intends to pawn its shiny new Manhattan building to borrow a quarter of a billion dollars just to stop the bleeding. Other major dailies are either for sale, or rumored to be so, including the Rocky Mountain News, the Miami Herald and others. The Cox newspaper group is closing its Washington bureau. Most newspapers have announced layoffs, or will do so soon.

"Magazines are faring a little better than newspapers. But the industry is all doom-and-gloom, and everyone is predicting a bloodbath in 2009. Newsweek has reportedly lost between half a million to a million subscribers from its 2.6 million rate base and has announced layoffs. TIME layoffs may total 600. National Geographic, The Economist Group and Doubledown Media are all laying off staffers."

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