PODCAST: March of the Undead Newspapers

Friday, November 15, 2013

 

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At this point, the New England newspaper scene is starting to resemble one long George Romero movie.

Yes, plenty of newspapers are up walking around, reporting the news, posting stories to the Web, plopping onto front porches. But the trouble is, only some of them are displaying signs of actual brain activity in their headquarters and a pulse in their newsrooms. The rest increasingly resemble a parade of zombies staggering mindlessly in circles.

 

Related Slideshow: Changing Newspaper Industry

In a column entitled, The smartest guys in media give up on print,  Alan Mutter, the former editor of San Francisco Chronicle, writes "For all the corporate-speak accompanying the dramatic restructurings of Twenty-First Century Fox, Time Warner and Tribune Co., the simple reason these diversified media giants are jettisoning their publishing assets is that their leaders fear for the future of print."

Throughout New England and across the country there is a dramatic decline in the print newspaper business. 

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Boston Globe

The New York Times Company sells the Boston Globe for just $70 million - a loss of more than of more than $1 billion dollars over 20 years.

The new ownership - John Henry - a majority owner in the Boston Red Sox may have purchased the Globe for the value of the real estate. Estimated to be $40 million to $50 million.

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Worcester Telegram

The Worcester daily paper has seen similar loss of circulation, revenue and staff cuts from 550 to now less than 200.

The paper was sold by The Boston Globe to Halifax Local Media for $19 million.

Today, the Worcester Telegram has circulation just over 50,000 per day.

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Providence Journal

The once proud Providence-based newspaper has been devasted by cuts under the ownership of A.H. Belo, the Dallas-based newspaper group.

The Providence Journal has let more than 50 reporters and editors go in less than a year.

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Fall River's Herald News

Now, the Herald News, the newspaper which is owned by Gatehouse Media, went into bankruptcy as the parent company tries to shed over $1 billion in debt.

The fate is now in greater question and circulation has dropped to just above 14,000.

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Standard-Times

New Bedford's newspaper is now is flux as its parent group, which was own by Ruppert Murdock's Dow Jones Local Media Group (a subsidiary of News Corp) has been sold off and is being merged into the same company as Fall River's Herald News.  

The newco will be merging both the spinoff Dow Jones Local Media and the bankrupt Gatehouse into one media company.

Circulation is now just above 20,000 during the week.

 
 

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