Editor and Publisher reported that more than 1,900 jobs have been cut from major and mid-sized newspapers over the past year. The cuts have included 500 jobs at The New York Times, 16 percent of Knight Ridder’s San Jose Mercury News staff, and 7 percent of the Houston Chronicle newsroom. And last week many of the Tribune Co.’s newspapers announced that future layoffs are likely.
The entire list of layoffs by company is nicely compiled here.
Knight Ridder announced last week that it is putting itself up for sale because of poor stock performance and the bleak outlook for the newspaper publishing model in today’s media environment. Meanwhile, New York Times
shares have declined 32 percent this year, while the Washington Post Co. stock has gone down 27 percent. Gannett and Tribune Co. stock have each declined 23 percent, and Belo Corp. is down 17 percent this year. Circulation, at the root of these valuation declines, has fallen 2.6 percent overall in the past six months, one of the biggest drops in 20 years.
The good news for newspaper publishers is that newspaper-owned Web site traffic is growing 11 percent annually, according to Nielsen. That’s a faster pace than overall Internet growth. The takeaway for newspapers is that online is where the growth is. The advertising online may not yet scale to the degree of print publishing, but the traffic growth online can’t be ignored in light of record losses for print.