An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Institutional memory??? We don't need no stinkin' institutional memory....
Unfortunately for Gannett's execs, the communities (markets) DO have institutional memories. That includes memory of how the papers used to be better. Do they not understand the contradiction? Or just can't afford to do anything about it?
Face it, Gannett is gradually exiting the newspaper business -- at least the newspaper business as they've known it. Along the way there's a lot of profit harvesting going on. There has to be because of the need to service the debt. But there's no better evidence for this exit than what's happening at small dailies like this one.You don't have to be Warren Buffett to know that, as Buffett has said recently, the only way for papers to defend the business is to deliver a comprehensive, solidly local product. We may not like the GCI top brass, but they aren't stupid. GCI execs know what Buffett knows. The fact that they're heading in the opposite direction from what Buffett has said makes their intention to leave the newspaper business (as we've known it) as clear as the noses on our faces. You don't have to be Buffett-smart to see this, you just need eyes. What's next? I have no idea. But somebody within GCI does.
Very astute comment, 8:47 AM. Even Stevie Wonder can see the mountain of self-destruction evidence left on top of the seasoned veterans Gannett has cast off.
I agree, 8:47 makes a very insightful comment. Certainly lays out a plausible argument.
No, it is not an insightful comment. It is an obtuse one. Gannett is not "gradually exiting the newspaper business" — the newspaper business is making its final exit, period.The octogenarian Buffett has come out with some stupid, sentimental burbling about the romance of print, but the actual money involved is utterly and absolutely immaterial to his personal balance sheet or Berkshire's.
My entire 23 year career, I've heard that newspapers are dying. Even before anyone heard AOL's "You've got mail" or the warbling of a 2400 b/s modem, my j-school professors predicted that at best we were preparing for a life of marketing.We don't print on 54 inch rolls, we don't have two daily editions and we don't use Xactos and wax. But words on paper are still delivered daily and weekly around the world. Formats change, profit margins change - but newspapers aren't going to exit from the scene any more than radio or television will.
8:44 a.m. said: "Formats change, profit margins change - but newspapers aren't going to exit from the scene any more than radio or television will."I am 8:47. I didn't say newspapers would exit. I said GCI is slowly exiting.
I'm 8:44 and I was responding to 10:53, not you, 9:22. Apologies if that wasn't clear.
@8:44 AM: The newspaper industry has been consolidating for a century. Circulation and employment have declined steadily for half a century.Advertising revenue peaked around the turn of this century, and since then has collapsed by two-thirds. It's now where it was in 1950. By way of contrast, during the same period (since 1950), US population doubled, and the overall US economy grew by more than 5,000%.You're right, the newspaper industry has known for decades that technology was a lethal threat. For the most part the industry, like you (but with a few admirable exceptions) opted for denial and self-delusion. Well, the predicted future is now upon us. The advertising monopoly is gone forever, and nobody's discovered a viable alternative economic model for local journalism. Wake up!And since you mention broadcast media — they're not far behind.
I feel bad for the Stevens Point photo intern. The intern is the only photographer? Who is there to mentor?
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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