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Articles by Ken Doctor

Ken Doctor is a news industry analyst and the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get (St. Martin’s Press). He also runs the book’s companion website, newsonomics.com. He is an analyst for the research firm Outsell and a regular consultant and speaker. He spent 21 years with Knight Ridder in a variety of roles, including as managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and as a vice president of Knight Ridder Digital.
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What was once expected to be $200 million in annual cost savings has now grown to $400 million or more. But how much blood is left to be drawn from this stone?
The “failing” New York Times’ news operation now employs more than 1,700 journalists, up nearly 50 percent from a decade ago. It has nearly 5 million subscribers, triple its print-era peak. Now it’s preparing to up the price.
“On-the-ground collaboration, on-the-ground communication, on-the-ground exchange are all getting to be more like business as usual.”
“The point is they have personality. They have character. They’re engaging, and they have really inside stuff. So, they’re more than newsletters. They are mini-brands that have events and forums around them — but the newsletter is almost the spearhead.”
The predicted culture clashes seem to have been mostly avoided, and they’re ready to expand their reach in Europe, Asia, and everywhere else.
The money is welcome, and the potential audience is too. But does this push publishers away from being destinations and toward being suppliers?
With Lookout Local, our longtime news industry columnist Ken Doctor is going to apply what he’s learned to try to fill the growing void in local reporting.
The number of employees soon to be cut at the No. 1 U.S. newspaper chain is about the same number as the No. 2 chain has in total. But newsrooms should mostly be spared — for now.
What will the largest local news company need to do and be to be successful in the 2020s? Neither Gannett nor Gatehouse has offered any big vision of what that is, or could be, even fueled by new money.
The merger of the United States’ No. 1 and No. 2 newspaper chains will likely spark a new wave of consolidation among its smaller competitors. But will the potential cost savings be eaten up by debt payments to financiers?