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Newsonomics: Tomorrow’s life-or-death decisions for newspapers are suddenly today’s, thanks to coronavirus
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Articles tagged Newsonomics (321)

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By gutting local advertising overnight, COVID-19 has accelerated strategies — like cutting print days, corporate consolidation, or even closing down offices — that publishers had hoped could wait a while longer.
The coronavirus pandemic is proving the value of local news to millions of readers, driving up subscriptions. But the advertising collapse is knee-buckling. “If it’s a couple of months, we’ll make it through. If it’s six months, all bets are off.”
The multi-trillion-dollar CARES Act should extend a lifeline to many small local publishers. But for bigger companies and chains, the help they’ll receive is still up in the air — “It’s very unformed.”
It’s generated controversy over its fundraising, its paywall, and its staffing. But it’s also about as close as a major American city has gotten to a digital news site that can go toe-to-toe with the local daily newspaper.
Will Chatham Asset Management, the hedge fund set to gain control of the company, want to operate it after bankruptcy? Or will it look to cash out via merger as quickly as possible?
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.
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?