Friday, October 30, 2009

More Bad News for Print: WSJ, Time, & Forbes

Although the Wall St. Journal's front page had a positive story about the economy, "Economy Snaps Long Slump," it's clear we're not out of the woods yet.

Need more convincing? This morning's breaking news, Consumer Spending Tumbled, now appears on above the story it now contradicts ("long slump").

That perhaps explains recent media moves:
  • "Time Inc. Is Expected to Eliminate More Jobs": The $100 million in cuts is expected to come largely from layoffs, which comes after 600 layoffs last year.
  • Forbes announced on Monday that it was dismissing 40 to 60 people from its editorial staff. According to an early Times story, "Depending on how you count, there are about 200 editorial employees at the magazine. And depending on who you talk to, at least 40 people could be cut, while one source who was not authorized to speak about the layoffs said the number could go as high as 60."
  • Wall St. Journal to close its Boston bureau, according to the Boston Globe. The bureau, which covers health care, education, and financial services, will close Dec. 31. The paper will shift most of the coverage to its New York office...According to Robert Christie, a Journal spokesman, said the paper does not plan to close any of its other 36 news bureaus. “We are not giving up on the beats; we are just relocating them,’’ he said. “A lot of the companies that we used to cover are no longer in Boston and a lot of the jobs that were in Boston could be located anywhere in the US.’’
What's interesting is that even as the Journal reported good news about the economy, it is continuing to look at ways to cut costs. Furthermore, the Journal also is beefing up its tech coverage, called Biz Tech Tuesdays. Guess it won't feature much New England tech.

I think if the Journal can close its Boston bureau, it and other papers will close other bureaus, too, especially those that can be covered by regional hubs. For example, expect that there could be consolidation of all the San Francisco and Silicon Valley bureaus out there.

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