Patterico's Pontifications

2/24/2009

Another One Bites May Bite The Dust

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:53 pm



This time it’s San Francisco:

The Hearst Corp. today announced an effort to reverse the deepening operating losses of its San Francisco Chronicle by seeking near-term cost savings that would include “significant” cuts to both union and non-union staff.

In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle.

I always end posts about the death of newspapers by saying that we seem to be watching death in slow motion. But man, it sure seems to be speeding up, doesn’t it?

(Via L.A. Observed.)

32 Responses to “Another One Bites May Bite The Dust”

  1. I quit buying the Chronicle years ago and never read it. It’s a far left advocacy rag. Good ridence.

    S.F. (7003ad)

  2. Allu Ahkbar

    Obama über alles!!!!! (da3d2f)

  3. Channeling Hax, if those people want a liberal paper in their metroplolitan area, they should be willing to support one. It’s the laws of supply and demand, nothing more than that. It must mean liberal opinion and newspapers are not worth supporting in San Francisco.

    I think I got the troll’s argument right.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  4. As a “former” journalist, I really hate to see this happening. Newspapers have always had an important role in the dynamic of our society.

    But, way back in the day — the late 80s and early 90s — when I was still working for a newspaper, we were trying to find a way to make the daily relevant. But, I could see the writing on the wall. And I left the industry.

    Ultimately, thought, the fluctuations in paper prices are hard to manage, the labor is too expensive and news has become instantaneous.

    The only way I see for newspapers to survive is to return to local news and carry opinions on their sleeves. Then, the consumer can see where you stand and the market will decide your fate.

    Pretty simplistic, but it worked in the past.

    Ag80 (f9ba5b)

  5. Electronic media are coming that might allow newspapers to survive but they have to be providing value. You can’t line a birdcage with a Kindle II.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  6. i went shopping the other day at one of those big super-stores[grocery]
    as soon as i walked in a guy came up to me- clipboard in hand]- and asked me if i wanted to subscribe to the local paper…he was offering all type of deals/discounts
    i mean..it was a sweet deal…
    and he was so earnest…
    i just laughed [not in his face…but at the situation]
    so sad…

    pdbuttons (bbdd05)

  7. And, as an anal-retentive former journalist, I meant “though,” not thought.

    Ag80 (f9ba5b)

  8. Yet another textbook example of a fat industry unable to make the transition to newer technology. And since they’ve lost millions of dollars every year for the last 10 years, you have to wonder who the genius were and what they were hoping was going to rescue the day-old ink on paper model. At least they’re sure George Bush was stupid.

    Menlo Bob (e6821b)

  9. I’ve seen so much crap in the SF Chron that I can’t wait for this paper to die. I don’t hope that the staff finds new jobs. I don’t hope that they make it in this economy. I don’t care one way or the other. I will be glad to see it fold–ecstatic. It’s worse than the LA Times.

    Daryl Herbert (b65640)

  10. In a New York Times op-ed, Michael Kinsley recently figured out that newsprint costs 34 cents a pound, and therefore the Los Angeles Times’ weekly home delivery subscription rate brought in less money then it cost them to buy the blank paper to print it on.

    That means that the Los Angeles Times objectively isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, just as many have been saying for years. In other words, the labors of Rutten, Hiltzik, Morrison and the usual gang of idiots reduces the value of the raw commodity before it reaches your doorstep!

    Official Internet Data Office (aaa692)

  11. I mentioned this in the blog entry on the problems with the paper in Philly, but if what has always been a relatively bare-bones newspaper — meaning the always cruddy and also lower-budgeted SF Chronicle — still has a problem staying in the black, then what does that say about the survivability of any major paper out there, particularly the ones that have had somewhat greater ambitions?

    Moreover, what about papers located in areas where more of the population is similar to the one found in Detroit or Cleveland than in San Francisco–a town full of people who are no less idiotic in their politics, but who are also at least somewhat (or supposedly) more well educated and upscale?

    Mark (411533)

  12. Oh man have you ever checked out the letters to the editor section of the Chronicle? It should play the ‘twilight zone’ theme as you read…

    Barry (f397dc)

  13. Wonder if they have done things the way the ever-noble Brian Tierney, who “saved” The Philadelphia Inquirer, did:

    Inquirer’s owners take bankruptcy case to court
    By Maria Panaritis and Harold Brubaker, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers

    The owners of The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News – the region’s two major newspapers – made their case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday for why they should remain in charge, as dramatic details emerged of last-minute maneuverings over the papers’ fate.

    “This is part of the community,” said Lawrence G. McMichael, the attorney representing Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C., who, along with opposing attorneys, said the newspapers were treasures. “And we all have a responsibility to keep it that way.”

    But lawyers for the investors who hold $297 million in debt said they were stunned that Brian P. Tierney, chief executive of the papers, had turned away from a $20 million lifeline from current lenders in favor of a loan that would protect his job, according to a court filing and testimony at yesterday’s opening hearing in Philadelphia.

    Instead, Tierney and his backers lined up a $25 million loan – known as debtor-in-possession financing – from a different group that included Philadelphia Newspapers chairman Bruce Toll. It includes a provision that would put the loan in default if Tierney left the company.

    And, as was noted by Mike K earlier, Mr Tierney went ahead and gave himself a big raise at the time he was trying to get wage concessions from the newspapers’ unions.

    The unamused Dana (3e4784)

  14. I live in Louisville Kentucky where our local rag is the Courier-Journal. I got tired of their left-wing tripe and canceled my subscription. They kept delivering, but I stopped paying. They sent me a bill. I sent it back marked “CANCELED” in black magic marker. They kept sending the paper. I finally had to duct-tape my paperbox closed and once again wrote “CANCELED” over the duct tape. Finally they got the message. Then they sent me a bill, warning me that the issue would go to a collection agency. I wrote them a terse note explaining that they wouldn’t get one penny from me irrespective of who attempted to collect. They got the message and that’s the last I heard from them.

    They’re now reaping the rewards of insulting half of their potential readership for decades.

    This paper just spent eighty million bucks on new printing presses too. Unbelieveable.

    unclebryan (770086)

  15. Mark,
    The Chronicle has had unusually high expenses for years, because it gave jobs to the staff of the old Examiner. Nice gesture, but economically foolish, because it came close to doubling the staff. Only Hearst’s willingness to lose staggering sums of money kept the paper alive for this long.

    I’m very sorry for the friends of mine who work there.

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

  16. my friend works for the boston globe and he said that when the legislature voted to not hear the ballot initative regarding gay marriage that people in the newsroom [i’m told at least half]
    open champagne bottles and openly celebrated
    now i’m not commenting on gay marriage [personally-i don’t care]
    but on the ideology of those who work there and there bias- if you’ve ever read the globe u know what i mean
    real estate section-always a story of …two lesbians trying to start a bed and breakfast
    cooking section-some new gay restaurant-every story has a gay narritive
    i respect those stories in and of them selves/ but the paper seems more like advocacy -beyond their liberal slant [a given]journalism-always in your face “look at me-look at me”
    well-not for long
    we’re here/we’re queer/we’re in arrears
    us news consumers notice shit like that and after awhile-it’s like-sigh- i guess i’ll cancel
    [good sports page-i’ll miss it]

    pdbuttons (bbdd05)

  17. ***
    Possibly Debra Sanders could move to the Fox cable channel when the left wing Frisco paper tanks.
    ***
    She writes some pretty well thought out conservative articles–she must be the “lone ranger” on the Chronicle.
    ***
    Rocketman
    ***

    John Bibb (235b4e)

  18. There’s one particularly noxious columnist at that paper, one who regularly casts aspersions on our men in uniform, and for all intents and purposes acts like a massive fop. Probably will get a gig at HuffPo, since Eva Gabor doesn’t pay her contributors actual money for their efforts.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  19. Back in the day–and I mean 40 plus years ago when I was at law school at Cal–the Chronicle wasn’t a bad read. It had Herb Caen and Charles McCabe as columnists. Even then the “news” in the Chronicle, such as it was, was pretty light and frothy.

    But when a newspaper becomes a “magazine of one way opinion”, you don’t need to read it. You know what it’s going to say on any given topic. Once you’re got their political positions memorized, why pay for the paper?

    Mike Myers (674050)

  20. Dmac, are you referring to Mark Morford of Lightworker fame?

    Pablo (99243e)

  21. That is indeed the douchebag I was thinking of, Pablo. Hope he’s thrown out the back door, feet first.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  22. Debra Saunders is a whacked out far rightie by SF and Chronicle standards. By normal standards she’s David Brooks with different genetilia. She’s on Townhall already and I bet she’ll land something quick.

    I know this is wrong by I have this desire to go to 5th and Mission and laugh. The last laugh, I believe. I used to like newspapers 10 years ago, before picking up the Chronicle. Now they can all rot, outside of the WSJ and IBD.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  23. If I had a euro for every time a wingnut crowed about proudly canceling his local newspaper subscription, I could afford to play tennis and drink at the country clubs John McCain belongs to.

    Yet I’ve never, not once, read or heard a winger bragging about SUBSCRIBING to a conservative publication of any kind as an alternative to the news product they so despise.

    It seems they don’t realize how moronic it is to claim that no newspaper is better than one whose politics they don’t like.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  24. It seems they don’t realize how moronic it is to claim that no newspaper is better than one whose politics they don’t like.

    Illogical beyond belief. It IS better, or certainly CAN be better, to get one’s information from other sources rather than patronize a publication whose editorial biases one finds sufficiently outrageous and destructive.

    I doubt we’d find trollboy subscribing to the only local paper in town if that paper had a bias that he found appalling, esp. given the ready availability of information via other means.

    Ah, the irony of the moron calling us morons.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  25. Stumpy’s stroking his ocelot vigorously now – watch it suffer a wrist fracture shortly.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  26. The innocent people who will lose their jobs–not the editorial side–I feel sorry for. The rest of the left-leaning staff I hope has to beg for jobs from the people they disdain so mightily.

    The internet is only part of the reason why they are failing–the total lack of credibility is the main one.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  27. After 150 years, the Rocky Mountain News will cease publishing at the end of the week.

    SPQR (72771e)

  28. Far more historic than the Los Angeles Times fate, IMO.

    SPQR (72771e)

  29. The idiot lefties have previously mentioned the 200,000 circulation of NRO. I don’t know what Weekly Standard’s is. City Journal is an excellent quarterly that might be a conservative “New Yorker.” The Claremont Review of Books substitutes for the NY Review of Books which I dropped after reading a few too many personal ads in back ending with “Republicans need not apply,” or “No Republicans.” It was funny but too illustrative of the tone of the writing.

    I used to take five newspapers and read them. Now I take the WSJ (plus those magazines and a few sailing mags) and mostly read it online. My wife got me a Kindle for my birthday in hopes I will buy fewer books.

    Then I see obvious dopes trying to sound intelligent with no sign of knowing what they are telling us.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  30. Trolly, trolly, sad Hax trolly

    What’s funny is that “Hax Vobiscum” didn’t seem to have any trouble with dumping people into broad political categories over at Patterico’s when it suited his purpose.

    That he came onto this site just to whine about your doing so means that you must have hit really close to home.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (6b0eee)

  31. Notice with whom this particular troll was fencing, Bradley.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)


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