Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More bad newspaper news

There is a lot more bad newspaper news out there today.
First, a newspaper up the road from me with a 180-plus year history, one of the oldest newspapers in New Hampshire, is closing next month: ["Weekly 'Argus' ending publication"].
Second, the layoffs are continuing everywhere: The WSJ is cutting 50 editing positions and raising its cover price; the AJC in Atlanta is cutting 189 jobs; etc.
Lastly, there is this, from Editor & Publisher, about the company I work for: ["GateHouse Stock Could Be 'Worthless'"]. I don't like to talk about my work stuff on my personal blog but this seemed relevant enough to post considering the state of the business. Folks are talking about the story over at Dan Kennedy's Media Nation, including some GateHouse employees chiming in: ["GateHouse financial outlook dim"].
FTR, in case anyone is wondering, I am not one of those employees. When I post at Media Nation, I always sign my name. The Newspaper Beat columnist over at E&P has an interesting column here: ["The New Single-Digit Newspaper Stock"]. You gotta love this closing line:
The newspaper industry's strategy of shrinking newsroom and newshole seems not to be helping their shrunken stock prices.
Gee, you think?
I may post a note later this week on MediaNation when I get a free minute. However, I will say that I'm glad I took a broker friend's advice and didn't buy our company stock when it was $18 a share last year [it closed at $0.97 a share today].

Update: The Boston Herald has a story about the closing of two GateHouse newspapers with the company preferring to have readers go to the area dailies and Web sites: ["GateHouse shuts 2 papers"]. This seems like a completely logical move although I don't know much about the situation at all since I don't work near those newspapers.
I'm glad to read that some of our management team aren't worried about the debt load and how things are. That said, everyone will just keep plugging away like we always do, providing the best community news we can all provide.
Barring a major collapse, this is probably the last I will write about my company's situation. I will, however, continue to provide more analysis on how newspapers can survive during these difficult times, which is a difficult situation entirely. Newspapers, like radio, TV, and the Internet, are important. It is more than just about having a job for a lot of us. Even if I were not employed by a newspaper or media company, I would be saying the same things. It's all about what you know and when you know it. It's about the public getting important information about what is going on. It goes beyond everything else and that is how I see it.

1 comment:

Wicked Words said...

Wow, that's really rough. I'll keep my fingers crossed for all my friends at the [former CNC], though 97 cents a share is pretty bad!