Newspapers fight readership decline
Since the economic slowdown began, 12 newspapers in major U.S. cities have ceased publication, according to an industry Web site. Newspapers in Denver, Baltimore and Seattle were victims. But at least one local expert says print journalism companies will be able to stay afloat by are rapidly evolving with increased usage and integration of the Internet.
With the rise of the Internet and 24-hour cable news networks, people are turning to more immediate and free — outside of cable and internet provider fees — sources of news, cutting into newspaper subscriptions. The Washington Post reported a weekday circulation decline of 2.7 percent this year. The New York Times recently cut salaries by five percent for all employees, including executive officers, and estimated around 100 layoffs are likely. The paper already has about 1,400 fewer employees than the 10,710 it had in 2007.
But Alan Herzberger, digital managing editor of The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, is much more optimistic about the future of the industry, despite layoffs in 2008 at the paper’s parent company, OPUBCO Communications Group. He said he thinks as online news consumption evolves, so will print news.
“I still think it’s very early to make a definitive statement that daily printed news products will ever completely die,” Herzberger said.
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