Newspapers are fighting for their lives. The LA Times published an ad for the NBC television series "Southland," on page one yesterday. Although it was labeled "advertisement," the ad resembled a news story complete with a bold-type headline.

More than 100 staffers are up-in-arms, embarrassed and demoralized, according to their statement.

The ad was published over the objections of the newspaper's editor, Russ Stanton.

Publisher Eddy Hartenstein told the Times he had decided to run the ad despite protests from the newsroom because he was trying to ensure the newspaper's survival.

Who do you agree with -the staffers and their editor, or the Publisher- the guy who pays the bills (and their salaries)? What would you do to keep the lights on?

Original story here.

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Without advertising, the LA Times would cease to exist, so it seems like the Publisher is just being creative in creating new ways to drive that revenue. They have to do something drastic, as print sales are rapidly declining. I rarely buy newspapers myself, now I read everything online.
I rarely buy newspapers myself, now I read everything online.
You're not alone Pam. Interesting piece:
If your local newspaper shuts down, what will take the place of its coverage? Perhaps a package of information about your neighborhood, or even your block, assembled by a computer. More here.
Don't some of these reporters also write salacious pieces? Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?
From MediaLife Magazine...

When the Audit Bureau of Circulations released second-half 2008 numbers last week, media buyers were expecting to see declines. But the sharpness of those declines, coming after a fourth quarter in which ad pages were off 17 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, stung. Single-copy sales dipped 11 percent, according to the ABC, and more than half the nearly 800 consumer titles tracked showed a decline in total circulation. Now publishers are faced with the tough issue of whether to reduce their rate base, abandoning the often-expensive task of keeping their circulation up, or attempting to ride out the economic collapse without making adjustments, a strategy that media buyers worry could increase reliance on “junk” circulation like public-place distribution in such venues as doctors' offices and schools. Some magazines have already begun to cut. Last week Vibe chopped its rate base for the second time in less than a year, and the newsweeklies have all reduced theirs in the past two years, following a major reduction by TV Guide a few years back. Roberta Garfinkle, senior vice president and director for print strategy at TargetCast TCM, talks to Media Life about media buyers’ biggest concerns stemming from the latest ABC data.

There are waves and there are tsunamis; it is not uncommon to read that another head of circulation has been charged with falsifying circulation records in the same way a CFO will have multiple sets of books. Many new slick mags these days start with fanfare and end with fingerpointing. Perhaps these magazine start-up staffers are becoming the contract recruiters of their vertical...
Times Will Cut Sections to Lower Costs
In an effort to save millions of dollars in annual costs, The New York Times plans to eliminate several weekly sections and absorb some of the content in other parts of the newspaper, Bill Keller, the executive editor, said on Thursday. More here.

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