5/03/2008

On the brink

Venerable newspapers face extinction

THE New York Times once epitomised all that was great about American newspapers; now it symbolises its industry?s deep malaise. The Grey Lady?s circulation is tumbling, down another 3.9% in the latest data from America?s Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Its advertising revenues are down, too (12.5% lower in March than a year earlier), as is the share price of its owner, the New York Times Company, up from its January low but still over 20% below what it was last July. On Tuesday April 29th Standard & Poor?s cut the firm?s debt rating to one notch above junk.

At the company?s annual meeting a week earlier, its embattled publisher, Arthur ?Pinch? Sulzberger, attempted to quash rumours that his family is preparing to jettison the firm it has owned since 1896. Carnage is expected soon as dozens of what were once the safest jobs in journalism are axed, since too few of the staff have accepted a generous offer of voluntary redundancy. ...



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[Source: The Economist: News analysis

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