Tribune media and former Knight-Ridder holdings sinking — big cuts coming.

The mainstream media is used to working with press releases fed to them by politicians, government agencies, advertisers and special interest groups. They are not so comfortable with their owners calling a meeting in the middle of their office floor and telling employees the harsh facts. That is “you are on a sinking ship and you have no where to get off.” Knight-Ridder iand Times-Mirror investors knew what was coming five years ago and unloaded the sinking fleets.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia story is not any better. They are technically defaulting on their loans and bleeding millions.

Please think about saving the planet and stop the insanity of wasted trees for newsprint and gas for your ex-cons to deliver the paper.

Maybe Obama can give you hope. Wait, you are considered rich by his standards.

Blame Bush. Didn’t newspapers go under during his watch?

Sam Zell and Randy Michaels told Tribune employees on Thursday:

What has become clear as we have gotten intimately familiar with the business is that the model for newspapers no longer works. Supply and demand are not in balance, and that manifests itself in two ways:
1. We are not giving readers what they want, and
2. We are printing bigger papers than we can afford to print

…We must also strategically align the size of the paper we produce with what advertisers want. We will be assuming a 50/50 ad-to-editorial ratio base as a floor to right-size our papers. With that benchmark we can significantly scale back the size of the papers we print, and take significant costs out of our operating run rate.

> COO Michaels says the productivity of the reporting staffs at Tribune’s smaller dailies is much higher than at larger papers. “We can eliminate a fair amount of people, while eliminating not much copy,” he notes.

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