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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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After ten years of writing for Nieman Lab, Ken takes a big look back and ahead, defining the state of affairs for the troubled world of journalism.
The news industry’s own Doctor Octopus has stuck its tentacles deep into another newspaper chain — and it’s unlikely to be dislodged anytime soon.
Worse, the two left standing could be run by hedge fund guys with little interest in more than the bottom line.
Astonishingly, history might argue that Sam Zell was only the third-worst owner in recent Tribune history.
The nation’s second-largest newspaper company had paid off most of its old debt and still generates positive cashflow. But it might head to bankruptcy anyway so investors can get paid.
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.