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“Engineering now is the second largest functional area at the New York Times, only behind journalism, and the largest function by far on the business side.”
Tribune and McClatchy are both approaching critical deadlines that could lead to mergers, divisions — or even the first big nonprofit newspaper chain in the United States.
A giant potential audience isn’t good enough on its own anymore: “It’s time to re-examine all of our relationships with the big platforms.”
A new round of consolidation could kill off half of what were the major U.S. newspaper chains just a few months ago. But the possibility of platform cash is sparking hope.
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.