Times-Dispatch Death Watch

Media General released news of a corporate reorganization that looks simple on the surface, yet very telling on another level.

Instead of looking at its operations as three types of media – publishing, broadcasting and interactive – Media General is going to organize and manage the company by geography, with all properties in a given market reporting to a market leader, regardless of platform. . . .

Virginia/Tennessee – James A. Zimmerman. He is currently President of the Broadcast Division. In 2008, the VA/TN market had revenues of approximately $235 million.

Florida – John R. Schueler. He is currently President, Florida Communications Group. In 2008, the FL market had revenues of approximately $215 million.

Mid-South – John R. Cottingham. He is currently Senior Vice President, Broadcast Stations. The Mid-South market includes South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. In 2008, the Mid-South market had revenues of approximately $170 million.

North Carolina – James R. Conschafter. He is currently Senior Vice President, Broadcast Stations. In 2008, the NC market had revenues of approximately $105 million.

Ohio/Rhode Island – Richard E. Rogala. He is currently Vice President and General Manager, WCMH-TV Columbus, Ohio. In 2008, the OH/RI market had revenues of approximately $62 million.

I noticed the same thing the reporting website concluded:

RBR/TVBR observation: We can’t help but notice that all of the new market segments will be headed by people from the Broadcast Division.

The real question is why aren’t there any newspaper executives in this line-up? Why is broadcast leading the charge?

Or maybe the bow ties at MG are finally getting it.

Dinosaurs can’t reach for the future.

They have only one possible fate.

Newspapers: Still knock-knock-knockin’ on Heaven’s door


Turn on the life support! The papers are still dying, no one knows what to do, the dinosaurs are still tying their bow ties too tight and having spasms because they might lose their executive bonuses!

Crack the whip, fire somebody and raise the subscription rates! Here’s a round-up of the latest news all about the onrushing death of newspapers:

• The McClatchy Co. is cutting 15% of its workforce — 1600 jobs — in an effort to survive.

“Newspapers are dead, ‘Wired’ editor says”

• The New York Times sold off 21 floors in its own building for a cash flow of $225 mill. They’re now renting those floors back because it’s ultimately cheaper.

• There’s still no buyer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It’s being denied, but there are real hints that print operations will be closing, well, right around the corner.

• Tennessee’s four largest dailies, in an effort, probably, to cut jobs and still maintain a certain level of journalism, are now sharing content as of last week.

• Gannett’s Coloradoan is moving its printing to Denver and slashing 48 jobs.

• “Days of ignorance are descending rapidly. The newspaper in its current form is becoming extinct. The editor of Wired said as much last week. It will happen, but there will be this dead zone between the newspapers deaths and the development of online reporting where there is a huge demand for information. Lets just hope the void is filled somehow.”
Conor Gallagher SF News Media Examiner (full story here)

• Closer to home, Richmond’s Media General is shifting two of their North Carolina papers from a five-day a week schedule to only two days a week.

Time has listed their picks for the top 10 most endangered newspapers in the country:

1. The Philadelphia Daily News
2. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
3. The Miami Herald
4. The Detroit News
5. The Boston Globe
6. The San Francisco Chronicle
7. The Chicago Sun-Times
8. The New York Daily News
9. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer

That’s all the news that’s fit to print . . . online . . . ’cause the suits certainly won’t print it in the Times-Dispatch . . .