Amid news of bank failures, CEO scandals, and economic disaster, newspapers themselves have slowly become the subjects of grim headlines.
For several years the embattled keepers of the fourth estate have fought against an influx of free Internet news sites, dwindling ad sales, and declining readership. For many the war has been too much. According to the Newspaper Association of America, total newspaper revenue fell nearly 17 percent in 2008. More and more newspapers are pulling their print editions, slashing jobs, reducing home deliveries, and filing for bankruptcy. One website, 24/7 Wall Street, has gone so far as to predict which 10 major newspapers will go under or online only this year.
1. The Sun Times Media Group, owner of The Chicago Sun Times, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 31. The paper joins a growing list of daily publications that are on the decline due to plunging ad revenue. It is the second
3. Hearst Corp. halted the print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in March after ad revenue plummeted. The newspaper now only has a presence on the Internet at seattlepi.com.
4. Another Hearst Paper, The San Francisco Chronicle, is on the chopping block. It lost about $1 million last year and in order to survive the paper must either be sold or undergo massive layoffs. Hearst’s Houston Chronicle also has undergone significant job cuts as part of cost saving efforts.
5. The Christian Science Monitor published its final daily print edition on April 3. The 100-year-old daily newspaper moved its operations online and now only publishes a once-a-week print edition.
6. E.W. Scripps Company shut The Albuquerque Tribune in February 2008 after an unsuccessful seven month search for a buyer. A year later Scripps also shut down
7. The Journal Register Co., which owns 20 daily and 160 non-daily newspapers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York (among other states), filed for bankruptcy in February after revenue dropped some 20 percent in the past few years.
8. The Star Tribune Company, owner of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year.
9. Philadelphia Newspapers, publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, declared bankruptcy in February. Top executives at the company were later criticized for taking hefty year-end bonuses.
10. The New York Times Company‘s titular paper is instituting a temporary 5 percent pay cut for all staff, laying off 100 business staffers, and folding its city section. Sister paper the Boston Globe also reduced its news staff by about 10 percent.