Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2009

L.A. Times to Lay Off 70 More Newsroom Staffers

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 3:32 pm

Kevin Roderick reports that the L.A. Times‘s scrapping of its California section will be accompanied by 70 more newsroom layoffs — about 11 percent of the remaining newsroom staff.

We’re watching death in slow motion.

34 Responses to “L.A. Times to Lay Off 70 More Newsroom Staffers”

  1. As opposed to the conservative online prescence, which we’re watching die in fast motion.

    Country First (8af752)

  2. I’d love to see your empirical evidence, CF.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  3. #1 is a non-sequitur.

    The LAT is dying because of debt and poor management, from newspaper-clueless Sam Zell and his idiot-savant Lee Abrams, all the way down to ideological barnacles in the reporting ranks like “business” writer, Michael Hiltzik, who seems to think his highest and best use is bashing Republicans.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  4. Country First does sound like a loyal Times reader, though. One of the few.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  5. If the L.A. times would report the news and not bash republicans it would probably survive.I dont think so from that bunch of great people.!!!

    Enrique Valdez (77b76e)

  6. Country First shall brook no dissent. Die Republicans!

    JD (4d1a78)

  7. The LAT is dying because of debt and poor management, from newspaper-clueless Sam Zell and his idiot-savant Lee Abrams, all the way down to ideological barnacles in the reporting ranks like “business” writer, Michael Hiltzik, who seems to think his highest and best use is bashing Republicans.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 1/31/2009 @ 4:22 pm

    Amen, Brother…AMEN!

    fmfnavydoc (59b1f9)

  8. I know it violates troll protocol to agree with the people making fun of you, but each of you are right: the LA Times really is failing, and it’s liberal bias certainly has to be a part of that.

    But, you sorta gotta admit it is pretty funny to have this post up on the day that folks like Jeff Goldstein and get to discover the wonders of the invisible hand of the free market. Right?

    Country First (dfa54a)

  9. I am sure that it will come as a complete shock to y’all that the douchenozzle Country First was not only unable to accurately note the author of the post at PW it referenced, but also completely missed or distorted the actual content of the post.

    JD (4d1a78)

  10. Where do hack journalists go after being laid off at the most enlightened newspaper of our times?….

    EricPWJohnson (72a550)

  11. I’m sure I read somewhere that someone started floating a trial balloon on the possibility of getting NYT publicly funded as a non-profit. And I think I added enough qualifiers to adequately defend myself from any accusations of misspeaking. ;)

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  12. Yes, indeed that trial balloon has been floated. However, critic reaction suggests it’s gone over like a lead balloon.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who wishes DRJ well, here and everywhere else! (0ea407)

  13. While the endowment idea is problematic, ownership by a non-profit institution has worked with several papers, such as the St. Petersburg Times, whose ultimate owner, the Poynter Institute, is non-profit. Although the excerpt below was written in 2004, it very much applies to the failings of the Zelliots.

    The setup boils down to this: a profit-making, tax-paying publishing company owns the St. Petersburg Times and several magazines: Florida Trend, Congressional Quarterly, and Governing. The company’s earnings after taxes go to build the business and support The Poynter Institute.
    That’s not how it works at most newspapers. Corporate owners in distant cities all too often lack familiarity with local people and issues. They may not even know newspapers very well. As a result, the only thing that counts to the owners is dollars, and readers suffer.
    Some of the differences:
    If our owner demanded profits be twice as high as they are, it would inevitably cut into our ability to hire enough people and buy enough newsprint to really tell you what is going on in our communities. We run a nicely profitable business so we can be an excellent newspaper; all too many companies print newspapers so they can make a lot of money.
    The price of our paper is low. We keep it that way so all citizens can be informed, not just the well-to-do. We believe our democracy depends on informed citizens.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who wishes DRJ well, here and everywhere else! (0ea407)

  14. I propose a bailout for the NYT. Just make sure to sabotage the parachutes. That would be one hell of a dead cat bounce.

    allan (b67dba)

  15. While the death of the MSM is welcome by most conservatives, I must say they are dying for reasons that have nothing to do with its boorish editorializing.

    They are dying because papers depend on local advertisers moreso than national advertisers and this thing called the internet and paid search have decimated the market. Cheaper and more effective.

    To boot, the business model is expensive and younger folks don’t react as well to synchronous advertising versus asynchronous.

    But hey.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  16. younger folks don’t react as well to synchronous advertising versus asynchronous

    What does that mean?

    happyfeet (4eacbc)

  17. Happy feet.

    Telephone is Synchronous communication.

    Mail is Asynchronous communication.

    Asynch Ads allow you to get the ads when you want it. A Google search.

    Synch Ads are those which are fed to you in the course of doing something else. TV. Pop up Ads.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  18. Newspapaer is synchronous, you see the Ad when you read the paper, not because you want to read it.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  19. That’s interesting. But the synchronicity of advertising is then scalable to the narrowness of the niche a print vehicle is targeting. Vehicles targeted at a more general readership would suffer most from this sort of effect… But certain newspaper sections, for example, might suffer less than others from synchronicity aversion/resistance among younger demos. And highly targeted/focused print vehicles might not suffer at all.

    Is that the idea? That is a neat way of looking at it I think.

    happyfeet (4eacbc)

  20. Yes.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  21. thank you for teaching me about the synchronous advertising

    happyfeet (4eacbc)

  22. Happy, it is just a concept to help folks understand how advertising is changing. Call it a strawman to help you figure out what might work versus what won’t work. There is certainly much more to this as it related to Print Advertising and its different mediums like Newspaper and Magazines …

    … to boot many alleged professionals struggle daily with reaching younger folks who don’t read, are hyper cynical, have little brand allegiance yet are very brand and status conscience.

    But Google and Craigslist is eating Newspapers lunch with a cheaper business model.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  23. But you’ve got me thinking that maybe it’s not a strawman. At least not with magazines. I think maybe by looking at Affinity or Starch ad effectiveness/reader involvement norms data you might could create an actual model. You’d just have to score each title with respect to how targeted it was and then look at aggregate ad effectiveness against different demos. So it’s for sure been done already you’d think. But maybe not.

    happyfeet (4eacbc)

  24. Coming from the ad sales side of the ledger in the mag world, I would speculate that those mags that deliver something that cannot be replicated easily on the web (i.e. Vogue, Architectural Digest, etc.) will survive, and even prosper, provided their web affiliated sites can help extend their total audience reach. But as for the newsweeklies and most sources for business news, they’re already been written off for dead for awhile now.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  25. It is sad–there are lot of innocents there (not the editorial staff) who are going down the tubes too.

    My question is, if advertisers don’t like newspapers or blogs, where are they going to advertise? Everyone zaps through TV commercials now. I think blogs are it, personally. I just bought a Blackberry because of a blog ad I saw.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  26. But as for the newsweeklies and most sources for business news, they’re already been written off for dead for awhile now.
    Comment by Dmac — 2/1/2009 @ 8:58 am

    **snark alert**
    If it wasn’t for the life-support of the McLaughlin Group, Elinor “Rodham” Clift would have disappeared years ago, as her beloved Newsweek is slowly doing.

    AD (7c0940)

  27. Newspapers could have picked up a greater share of Internet advertising, but they’ve crippled themselves by overly relying on intrusive ads, even some that roll across the story you’re trying to read. This degrades the user experience and drives people like myself to use adblockers. Google makes billions on reader-friendly text ads, that don’t use these gimmicks. Net-dumb newspaper executives never bothered to learn about this. Instead, they railed against Google for “stealing” their customers, when Google actually sends them traffic. Never underestimate the role of sheer stupidity in the downfall of newspapers, aside from ideology.

    I’m still an optimist. Some newspapers by design or luck will figure how to make the Web transition. And those that fail will be replaced by purely Web-based news sources that learn from the mistakes.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who wishes DRJ well, here and everywhere else! (0ea407)

  28. LA Observed says the LA Times’ decision to keep the business section was “tone-deaf . . . given how little actual news the Business section offers most days. . .”

    “These are newsy economic times, right? On Sunday, the only staff story the Times could come up with was Eight great three-hour dates on a $25 budget. The setup: “Times are tough. People are cutting back. But there must be a way to have fun without spending too much money.” The Travel section’s cover story on driving the coast had more depth of reporting. Business had zero bylined news or recession analysis stories, just a David Lazarus column.”

    If the business section is that bad, it’s the editors’ fault for letting it get that way. One might almost suspect the editors were deliberately weakening the section to make it the sacrificial candidate.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who wishes DRJ well, here and everywhere else! (0ea407)

  29. i meant to post to this story this weekend…….

    /clears throat

    WHOOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!! Go Baby Go!!!!

    how soon before the Spring St. Building is sold for lofts & condos?

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  30. The whole question of advertising is interesting, although I know little about the mechanics of it. Why do men’s magazines have ads for computers and weed whackers and “guy things,” while women’s magazines, even the supposedly edgy ones, have ads for weight loss products and clothes ? They have figured out what readers will buy.

    Now take Amazon.com. When you open that home page, you get a bunch of links to affinity items they have deduced from your previous behavior. Big companies like Double Click try to do the same thing by tracking cookies. I am interested in data base marketing techniques because those same technologies could be used to make intelligent electronic medical records. It sure seems that somebody could do a better job researching these subjects.

    Is Craig’s List just the cost thing or do they have a better model ? eBay sure figured out a good business plan. Maybe Meg Whitman could be building such a program for the Republican party. Somebody should.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  31. The other thing that is killing newspapers and weekly news magazines is the strategy they seem to have adopted of turning left and pissing off half the potential readers. I know of two hospitals that are located on the coast in Orange County. They both have lovely views from the hospital rooms but they have placed themselves so 180 degrees from the center is water. Nobody goes to the hospital for the view. Newspapers seem to have done something similar.

    Mike K (8df289)

  32. To the last I grapple with thee. From Hell’s heart I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

    CStudent (f30411)


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