Thursday, July 12, 2012

Three approaches to saving the newspaper business

Reflections of a Newsosaur has given us an outline to the current three approaches to "saving" the newspaper business. Advance's approach is one of the three. There are a couple links included in the Advance part of the story you may want to follow.

One of the links is to a June 3 NY Times story that has some interesting reflections about the success, or lack of success, of Advance protects its business information so some of the speculations is just that. However the loss of 20,000 newspaper subscribers in just three years is hard to hide.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Advance is sued over "job pledge" and buyout promises

This will sound familiar to a lot of folks that I know.

A city pleads (unsuccessfully) for its daily newspaper

A group of prominent New Orleans citizens sent a diplomatic, but pointed letter to the Newhouse family pleading for the survival of its daily newspaper. It's an interesting read.

The entire letter is at the end of the post and includes some pretty recognizable names.

And just as a refresher go back and read the give and take over the original announcement for the move.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TP staffer rants about the changes

This letter to executives from a fired employee is about as good - and accurate - as it gets. She'll probably pay for her honesty, Advance hates honesty, but the rest of us can certainly appreciate it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A view of newspapers from the inside: Not good

Thanks to a loyal FFE reader who sent along this link to a good New York Times column about our favorite industry.

In case you don't have time to read the whole thing, here is a section that refers to the Advance efforts, particularly the recent ones in New Orleans:

"Given that context, it's not hard to see why Advance Publications is making huge moves in some of the 25 cities where it publishes newspapers, most notably in New Orleans, where it is spending the summer reducing the staff.
Advance's regional Web sites have generated traffic and have active forums, but they are a miserable place to consume news. Balky and ugly, with a digital revenue base below much of the rest of the industry, they seem like a shaky platform on which to build a business. Some recent traffic trends are not encouraging. According to Nielsen, The Times-Picayune's site,, had 639,000 unique visitors in May, compared with over a million in that month a year ago.
Once upon a time, the Newhouse family kept unions at bay by promising lifetime employment, but now the company wants to shed people, and legacy costs, as quickly as it can. The plan is built on accounting, not strategy, which is why some of the newspaper's heavy hitters have declined offers from the newly reconfigured enterprise.
David Hammer, who played a large role in The Times-Picayune's coverage of the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, took a job with the New Orleans CBS affiliate, WWL-TV, doing investigative work; he will be joined by Brendan McCarthy, one of the newspaper's young stars.
Stephanie Grace, a former statewide columnist, declined a job as a reporter, and Bill Barrow, a longtime reporter who covered health care, is going to work for The Associated Press. Bob Marshall, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the newspaper's outdoors editor, took a pass as well."