Sunday, January 16, 2011

N.J. news cuts: 'You can do a lot more with more'

Louis Hochman left the Daily Record in Parsippany, N.J., a year ago for a job with AOL's journalism start-up In a column this week, he wrote about his interview with Asbury Park Press Publisher Tom Donovan, who on Monday disclosed plans to consolidate the newsrooms of the Record and two other N.J. papers: the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick and the Courier News in Bridgewater. Under the plan, a combined 99 newsroom jobs will be cut to 53. From Hochman's column:

He didn't talk about the current consolidation in terms of cost savings. He talked in terms of greater efficiencies and smarter strategies, more intelligent ways for the papers to pool resources with one another and with the Monmouth County-based Asbury Park Press. It's true that sometimes you really can do more with less. But you can do a lot more with more, and every time a major cut is announced, some of that potential is lost.


  1. I have thought for this a while, and wonder how you come up with the idea that "It's true that sometimes you really can do more with less." I looked at physical sciences and other areas and cannot think of a single thing that would allow you to do more with less. I wouldn't bother you with this, except I find it an extraordinary statement.

  2. Perhaps if these "newspapers" were to focus on news gathering, analysis, and dissemination, then they'd not be in the dire straits that they now cruise.
    Shouldn't that be the focus? That's what readers say that they want. So far as I can tell, this is the only industry that has ZERO response to consumer input.
    More readers = more advertising revenue. Plain and simple. More readers = higher circulation revenue.
    What this corporation lacks is a sense of business outside of protecting its ridiculously high profit margin... for nothing but the bonuses doled out to the few at the top.

    Oh yeah... and big tip: inside sources at the U.S.P.S. indicate that an investigation is underway (eff yourself nautical elitists) to determine whether or not Gannett is violating clear policy on ad:editorial content. If this internal review goes as expected, then Gannett will likely be forced to pay major fines, along with rate changes.

    One regional finance director in particular is about to get caught with his pants down... and this time his Daddy won't be able to do anything to help him.

  3. Furloughed Fury1/18/2011 10:49 AM

    Well written Louis. I'd say "read it, weep and think about the writer you lost, Gannett," but quality has been leaving the building for years. It is a disservice to the reader to tell them "we can do more with less" when the reader has gotten less every year thanks to short sighted Gannett upper management. There is an incredible "Emperor's new clothes" scenario at work here. Again, it's the business model dummies. Until you find the right business model for the 21st century where the internet becomes the profit center, Gannett can cut until only Craig is left to turn out the lights. (if he hasn't fled to the next big thing by then).
    Until then, get used to it people, because the worst is yet to come. Now cue the trolls.

  4. I worked with Louis in college at our university's paper, and I'm also one of those who have chosen to leave with this round of layoffs. Louis was smart to get out then, and he's even smarter now with this analysis. I have always wished and hoped the best for Gannett because I did enjoy working for the company, believe it or not, but I cannot see it surviving much longer. This round of purgings are going to leave Gannett without quite a few of its better journalists. I already know of several of the best at those three properties that are saying, "To heck with this," and are leaving. It's said. It shouldn't be like this.


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