Reading today’s media reports will feel almost as good as tripping into that giant slush-puddle on your way to work this morning. So grab a Snuggie and a big mug of Kahlua-spiked hot cocoa — today, you’re gonna need it.
• Yikes. Earnings fell 48 percent at the New York Times in the last quarter. Ad revenue is down in print as well as digital, the last hope for the paper of record. The Times is pretending none of this is happening by cutting their monthly earnings reports. [Mixed Media/Portfolio, Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• More media gloom: 700 axed at AOL, 300 layoffs to come at Reader’s Digest? Plus, Culture11 and the Washington Post’s Book World collapse, and Congressional Quarterly is forced into prostitution. At least Obama got through one week without a Washington sex scandal… [Valleywag, FishbowlNY/Mediabistro, Politico]
• Time Inc. is standing strong in the saga of the seven-cent increase. Though Ron Burkle’s distribution company, Source Interlink, threatens to implement the price increase per copy this Sunday, Time Inc. is still refusing to pay the higher rate, putting the midweek distribution of People in jeopardy. But we can’t go a week without a Brangie fix! This really is the worst recession ever. [NYP]
• Two finance gurus think the government should buy up some newspapers. But … wait. [NYT]
• But don’t get too down — Rupert Murdoch’s British satellite broadcaster Sky is growing! A rare victory for the little guy. [Guardian UK]
• MediaNews’ Bay Area News Group (which includes the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, and San Jose Mercury News) is forcing its staff to take one-week unpaid vacations. [Romenesko]