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.

The only journalism that counts is by mainstream news

By Mick Gregory

What kind of mind set is inside newsrooms today?

Here is a comment from Amy Gahran, a media consultant who instructs newsrooms and PR departments on Web 2.0. This is how elitist journalists think of themselves as they rearrange the deck chairs of the Titanic. Close-minded, pompous and they believe superior to any other members of the new media.

I’ve been getting quite aggravated at the close-minded and helpless attitudes I’m still encountering from too many journalists about how the media landscape is changing. Those attitudes are revealed by statements, decisions, actions, and inaction which belie assumptions such as:
The only journalism that counts is that done by mainstream news orgs, especially in print or broadcast form. Alternative, independent, online, collaborative, community, and other approaches to news are assumed to be inferior or even dangerous.
Priesthood syndrome: Traditional journalists are the sole source of news that can and should be trusted — which gives them a privileged and sacred role that society is ethically obligated to support.
Journalists and journalism cannot survive without traditional news orgs, which offer the only reliable, ethical, and credible support for a journalistic career.
Real journalists only do journalism. They don’t dirty their hands or distract themselves with business and business models, learning new tools, building community, finding new approaches to defining and covering news, etc. As the Louisville Courier-Journal staffer Mark Schaver said just this morning on Twitter, “[Now] is not a good time [for journalists] if you don’t want your journalism values infected with marketing values.”
Journalistic status and authority demands aloofness. This leads to myriad problems such as believing you’re smarter than most people in your community; refusing to “compromise” yourself professionally by engaging in frank public conversation with your community; and using objectivity as an excuse to be uncaring, cynical, or disdainful.
Good journalism doesn’t change much. So if it is changing significantly, it must be dying. Which in turn means the world is in big trouble, and probably deserves what it will get.
There’s a common problem with all these assumptions: They directly cut off options from consideration. — Amy Gahran

Yet here is the reality. Newspapers are losing ciculation/readers in droves.
Layoffs continue across the country at large and small newspapers.

Journalists jump on every liberal crisis bandwagon without a clue.

Let’s look at a newspaper’s carbon footprint
-Tons of newsprint wasted every day
-Adult carriers drive 200 miles circling neighborhoods
delivering the inky newspaper to every 20th house.
-Most often they are driving beaters polluting the dawn air
-Half of all home delivered newspapers end up in the trash bin
-The printing presses run for hours eating up enough energy to run a small town
-Paper and plastic — you get both with your home-delivered newspaper, plastic bags are perfect for picking up dog poop.

Check out this blog:

It’s a fact-filled site of the state of the industry. They have some very funny T-shirts for sale.
Here are some:
Low Pay Creates Writers Block

Here are some of mine:

Ask me about my carbon footprint!

$12 an hour, but I work 12-hour days. You do the math
Will follow AP style for food
Newspaper Interred
The only journalism that counts is from mainstream newsrooms
Make way for the professional journalists
I’m a $32,000 a year professional
On a mission from Guild

Now the once tower of the holy, the New York Times, is one notch above junk bonds.
Credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Tuesday cut its long-term rating on newspaper publisher The New York Times Co., as its advertising revenue continues to fall.
S&P cut its corporate credit rating and senior unsecured debt rating to “BBB-” from “BBB.”

“BBB-” is one notch above “junk bond” status. The ratings were removed from CreditWatch, but the outlook is negative, meaning another downgrade could occur.

“The rating downgrade reflects a worsening pace of decline in advertising revenue at the company’s newspaper publications,” said S&P credit analyst Emile Courtney in a statement.

Shares fell 35 cents to $19.96 during midday trading on April 29.

Watch the “managing editors” call out the newsroom cuts soon to help the stock bounce back a little.
Too little too late.