Monday, January 18, 2010

Newspaper job loss in perspective

About 15,000 newspaper workers lost their jobs last year, according to News Cycle, a media industry outfit.

Some perspective: From August forward, layoffs dropped significantly.

Further, as Bill Steiderwald writes in The American Conservative magazine, "despite all the headlines and hysteria, exactly 10 of the country's 1,437 daily newspapers have stopped publishing since 2007. [And] in September alone, the construction industry shed 64,000 jobs."

Lastly, there's a sizable difference between the headline-grabbing situations of the Rocky Mountain News and the Chicago Tribune on the one hand, and dailies that operate far more quietly and profitably in small and mid-sized markets.

"One thing that would be supportive of newspaper employment is that 70 percent of daily newspapers have circulation under 50,000," said newspaper financial analyst John Morton. "Those kinds of newspapers have suffered far less than big city papers have. Going forward, they will suffer less."