“Between operational fiascos and flailing attempts to slash costs on the fly, it’s clear that the print newspaper business, which has been fretting over a looming crisis for the last 15 years, is struggling to stay afloat. There are smart people trying to innovate, and tons of great journalism is published daily, but the financial distress is more visible by the week.
‘Most newspapers are in a place right now that they are going to have to make big cuts somewhere, and big seams are bound to show up at some point,’ said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute.
Some of the bigger cracks can’t be papered over by financial engineering. Hedge funds, which thought they had bought in at the bottom, are scrambling for exits that don’t exist. Many newspaper companies are hugely overburdened with debt from ill-timed purchases. And though it is far less discussed, newspapers are being clobbered by paltry returns on underfunded pension plans.…”
By David Carr, New York Times, Published: July 8, 2012