media deathwatch

Losses at Playboy, Across Television

The media continues to valiantly attempt to adjust to the inexorable pull of the Internet tide (swim across it, not against it!) this week. The Times released their new mobile reader, which will allow you to download seven days’ worth of papers and read them while offline, in a manner more reminiscent of the way a physical newspaper is scanned. And News Corp. announced plans to institute micro-payments for individual articles. But the news today is by far not all good.

Playboy reported a $13.7 million net loss during the first quarter of 2009, compared to a $4.2 million loss during the same period in 2008. If naked chicks don’t sell, what is media coming to?! [Folio]

• Bonnier Corp. is relocating the editorial and production operations of Babytalk magazine from New York to its headquarters in Florida. The move, according to a company spokesperson, will be made “in order to operate more efficiently and take advantage of existing corporate resources,” or in our words, “in order for staffers to benefit from their bubbes babysitting.” [Folio]

• In addition to the layoffs we reported last week, multiple sources have told FishbowlNY that senior staffers at New York public-radio station WNYC will be taking a 5 percent pay cut as the station faces decreased underwriting revenues and a budget deficit. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• The news for stations has been grim lately: Without election advertisements to defray the losses in automotive ads, a cross section of station owners reported 20 percent to 30 percent quarterly drops in revenue last week, suggesting that the local-TV business is almost as weak as its print counterpart. [NYT]

• But these TV stations are less likely to report their own downfall. A University of Pennsylvania study found 900 articles about the drop in newspaper circulation and 95 about the shrinking audience for the broadcast networks’ newscasts. [NYT]

• Swedish newspaper group Metro International has agreed to sell its loss-making U.S. papers, with a combined circulation of 590,000 daily copies reaching some 1.2 million readers, to a company run by a former Metro CEO. No news yet on whether layoffs will follow. [HuffPo]

• Twenty newsroom-based Media Workers Guild employees at the San Francisco Chronicle were involuntarily laid off Friday. SFist lists most of the confirmed names. [SFist]

Rolling Stone Mexico has been shuttered after seven years. See the Google-translated announcement here. [Rolling Stone Mexico]

Losses at Playboy, Across Television