Who is left to cut at the Chicago Tribune?
To be sure, the paper is hiring to address "emerging growth opportunities" in . . . well publisher Tony Hunter does not explain what he means in a memo obtained by Crain's.
This statement reminds me of statements I heard publishing executives make a few years ago. They would blather on an on about the internet. These digital strategies, though, never developed quite the way the companies expected. Papers remain very much in the business of selling print advertising, which is dying fast. Even internet advertising, which is supposed to be the industry's white knight, is declining.
Meanwhile, the publisher of the Albany Times-Union canceled a collective bargaining agreement. The owners of papers in Philadelphia and Minneapolis are in bankruptcy. Sun-Times Media Group (SUTMQ), publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, sought protection from creditors earlier this month. Of course, the New York Times Co. (NYT) has threatened to shutter the Boston Globe unless unions make big concession, a tactic which worked at the Newark Star-Ledger.
The woes of the industry are endless. Paper Cuts estimates that about 8,100 jobs have been lost through layoffs and buyouts so far this year. And the year is far from over
Ironically, shares of Gannet Co. (GCI) soared today for no apparent reason. That burst of enthusiasm probably won't last.
If there a silver lining I am missing, please let me know.