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No News Is Good News: Companies Going Broke

Announcements from major media companies yesterday made it clear that the recession has hit those who report on it. Meanwhile, the Pulitzer Prizes announced plans to accept submissions from web-only news outlets, providing a redundant wake-up call to traditional news companies failing to get by. Here's a roundup of traditional media's most recent struggles:

  • New York Times: Like many Americans, the New York Times Company will borrow against its house to keep the cash flowing. Specifically, the paper of record will take $225 million out against its Manhattan headquarters.

For the rest of this sad news story,


  • Tribune Co.: The media giant, which owns the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. Following the filing, the CEO sent employees a memo that said business will carry on as usual. He wrote: "The good news is that we have great brands, and we produce great products every day. It's up to all of us to continue to focus on what it is we do best."
  • NBC: The peacock network has had its head in its feathers apparently, as its chief Jeff Zucker told investors yesterday that a bad Fall performance may result in programming cutbacks. Last week, NBC laid off 500 employees. Zucker said: "We're in an era where if we don't change the models of these local TV stations, we will be newspapers, we will be car companies. I don't want to be a company that files for bankruptcy."
  • While the Tribune Co. seems optimistic about its products, Zucker's comments make it clear that he's happy to be in the TV business rather than newspaper. In a day where everyone seems to have an insatiable craving for information, it's a shame that these media companies cannot quickly adapt, especially since their reporting resources are still valuable in an online world.

    Do you think stalwart media organizations like the New York Times and NBC can find a model that works as technology speeds ahead and a recession hits most businesses, or has their time passed?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I read local papers, Like the Indianapolis Star, or La Crosse Tribune. They lean a little to the left, but for the most part are pretty unbiased. My problem is that journalism, especially print journalists were supposed to be going after the truth, the whole story, and not whatever supports the side they tend to lean to.
stephley stephley 8 years
I'm not asking who people prefer to watch, I'm asking who people think is unbiased. There's a difference. I watch Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, but I don't quote them here because I know they have a definite POV on the information they choose to give. Who doesn't, that's what I'm asking.
ccpdm ccpdm 8 years
I listen to Fox News, as well.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Anybody wonders who will buy the Cubs?
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
K, I agree with you.
stephley stephley 8 years
Very funny. :)
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Supporting the Iraq war is the measure of whether or not someone is a leftist? Looks like Hillary is right in the center as well.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Well, Steph, I'm glad you asked. I'll take this opportunity to point out that Fox News is the shining beacon of impartiality which all other news sources should look to for inspiration.
stephley stephley 8 years
And the question remains: what is an unbiased news source?
stephley stephley 8 years
Especially Judith Miller's coverage of the run up to the Iraq war.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Before this whole thing gets started, I'm curious about this: Does anyone not know the NYT is slanted left?
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I think it has less to do with how "liberal" they are and more to do with the fact that less people are buying actual papers and are getting their news online instead.
stephley stephley 8 years
Just curious Dave: which news sources do you consider unbiased?
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
NYT will just reinvent itself to stay around.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The sooner the NYT goes the way of the dinosaur, the better. Bring me some unbiased news!!
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I already read NYTimes through Google Reader and on
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
I think one of the major problems with traditional media organizations is that they haven't been willing to let go of traditional media models. Those that tend to so better financially are those that take an integrated media approach. I don't think it has much to do with being liberal vs. conservative. It's about the ability to make money to sustain the business.
kh61582 kh61582 8 years
Perhaps it is worth noting that these are all liberal news sources. They are unapologetically one sided and perhaps THAT'S why they aren't doing so well. As far as I'm concerned they can crash and burn because they said bye-bye to real journalism a long time ago!
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I read the NY Times Online, I would hate to see one of my favorite sources for World New go, though I must say if I had regular access to cable BBC World would kick it's ass. News outlets have been putting out an inferior product for years. They were kicking back assure of themselves when we had no other options, now with the internet the way it is and cable television, it is no surprise they're hurting.
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