The Times today had three stories about the media’s epic struggle to stay afloat.
• Piece No. 1 was really actually about the Times: Ever since the New York Times Company threatened eleven days ago to sell or close the Globe unless it accepted deep cost cuts, Boston has been in a state of near shock. Many influential locals waxed poetic on how much this paper means to them, but so far no one’s ponied up the cash. [NYT]
• Piece No. 2, David Carr’s column, was ostensibly about the AP’s fight with Google, but really it was about the Times: “How much is this sentence worth? This paragraph? This column?” Carr began by pontificating. “Would copying and replicating it elsewhere enhance its value — or diminish it?” Good question! We have no idea. [NYT]
• Piece No. 3 was about how magazine publishers are worried that if they raise their prices they’ll lose subscribers, but you could tell it was really about the Times and how they felt undervalued. [NYT]
Way to be self-referential, Times! And they say newspapers are having trouble adjusting to the attitudes of the Internet.
• The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20 percent of its newsroom staff in yet another bid to reduce expenses amid continuing advertising declines. This is total déjà vu, because we’ve definitely written this before. [Chicago Business]
• Current Media, a cable-television company co-founded by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, has shelved plans for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO) citing “market conditions.” [AFP via Google]
• Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation (including USA Today and 80 other dailies), reports earnings on Thursday, kicking off what is expected to be the ugliest quarter for the industry in recent memory. [WSJ]
• Marriott International, claiming guest demand for newspapers had dropped about 25 percent at its 2,500 U.S. hotels, decided it will become the first major hotel company to stop automatic newspaper delivery to guest rooms, shifting to a system based upon customer preference. Guests will have a choice between USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the local paper, or no paper. [Editor & Publisher]
• Alec Baldwin, a frequent columnist for the Huffington Post, slams the site for pretending to be journalism on the site itself. “You can piss on anyone you want, say anything you want, and so long as it is within the boundaries of HuffPo politesse, you are in.” Apparently! [HuffPo]