Monday, March 17, 2008

Not only newspapers are dying

The bars that service the newspapers are on hard times, too.

The old-style rummy newspapermen of yesteryear are either dead, on the wagon or laid off.

At least in San Francisco, Chicago, New York and London -- the places where this video report covered.

The bar survey doesn't cover Houston, and neither does the main piece about the newspaper business as a whole, but it does touch on the travails of former Houston Post owner William Dean Singleton (pictured left), whose California newspaper empire is suckin wind.

And with the Bush Depression upon us in the midst of the newspaper biz tailspin and the nationwide credit crunch, it seems highly unlikely he can unload any of the West Coast properties so they can be shuttered by larger rivals a la The Houston Post circa 1995.

Part of William Dean Singleton's privately held MediaNews Group, the Mercury News was supposed to be the flagship of Singleton's formidable chain in both northern and southern California. But the Denver-based chain's presence there is shrinking. The San Jose newsroom staff now stands at roughly 175, less than half the size it was at its peak of 400 in 2000.


MediaNews also cut 10% of its newsroom staff at two other Bay Area newspapers and another 18% at the cornerstone of its Southern California fiefdom, the Los Angeles Daily News. Since the L.A. Daily News cuts on Feb. 29, additional layoffs were made at Singleton's other Southern California papers.
Payments totaling $41.2 million on more than $1 billion in debt that Singleton incurred to build that empire -- an empire originally conceived to band a number of smaller dailies together to rival the Chronicle and L.A. Times -- are partly to blame for this latest round of reductions, says Poynter media analyst Rick Edmonds, a co-author of the study.
Singleton did not return phone calls seeking comment."


Anonymous said...

I guess you mean the SF Chronicle. When I was in Reno last year, I picked up a copy in the airport to check it out, having heard of it.

I thought it didn't beat the Facts by all that much. Course, I'm not a newspaper, or even ex-newspaper, guy.


Anonymous said...

Nobody gives a shit about newspapers. When are you gonna get it through your thick skull, Banjo Boy? Hey, nobody ever gave a shit about newspapers except newspaper people, and those people are today's fuckin' dinosaurs. I heard that at a bar today, so what do you think of them apples, B.B.?