Whither the newspaper?

PHOTO: NY Times Building Sign

(Updated twice below)

Ever since the interwide webway became popular, we’ve had to deal with various proclamations that newspapers are dead or will soon be dead. Well folks, it’s time to throw my hat into the ring.

I think our economic apocalypse might be what kills off some big name newspapers in the next few months. Advertising is dropping both online and in print, classified ads are more and more the property of Craig’s List and newspaper stocks have tumbled with the rest of the market.

According to the Newspaper Association of America (via TPM), during the 3rd quarter newspaper ad revenues dropped 18% vs. the same time last year including online ads. This is merely an acceleration of a decline that started a few years ago.

The Tribune Company just hired bakruptcy advisors, and could file for Chapter 11 in the next week filed for bankruptcy today. They’re responsible for marquees like The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun.

The Christian Science Monitor is already killing its daily print edition, and if you’re in the market, McClatchy would like to sell you The Miami Herald.

Then there’s the big dog, The New York Times. Henry Blodget, CEO and Editor of the Silicon Valley insider, says the Times is facing a mountain of debt, with a significant portion maturing next year and little cash on hand to pay it off.

Update
“The New York Times Company plans to borrow up to $225 million against its mid-Manhattan headquarters building, to ease a potential cash flow squeeze as the company grapples with tighter credit and shrinking profits.” – International Herald Tribune (via TPM)

Update II
The Tribune company filed for bankruptcy.

Flickr photo by Dom Dada

For architecture and design fans: Check out this cool article about the sign on the front of the New York Times building.

3 Comments

  1. Ian

    Saves a lot of trees.

  2. Chris

    You have to admit, there is something special about leafing through a newspaper that you just don’t get online.

  3. Ian

    I guess so, but at the same time I don’t feel too bad about it all going online. It is an inevitable change, and honestly, its a good one. Its just much more convenient and less wasteful to have news online. I guess someday we can get all nostalgic with our grandchildren and tell them about when news was printed on paper… in black and white.