Economics


Economics

The past 10 years have seen a number of changes in industries across the United States, but few have been hit as hard as the newspaper industry. From a loss of subscribers to a loss in advertising revenue, print newspapers are experiencing economic change unlike any other time in history. In 2009, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News stopped publishing in February, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased printing their publication and converted to an online-only format in March (and in the process, laid off 145 of their 165 employees), McClatchy Co., owner of the Miami Herald, announced in March it was cutting 1,600 jobs and reduce wages throughout the company, and even the venerable New York Times made a deal to sell its share of its headquarters and lease it back, raising a much needed $225 million in the process. More recently, in May 2012, the 175-year-old New Orleans Times-Picayune reduced its print-edition publication from seven to three days a week, making New Orleans the largest city in the United States without a daily newspaper. Many cities have been impacted by newspapers either completely shutting down, cutting back on publication, or moving to online-only formats, including Cleveland, Detroit, Portland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, and Honolulu. These are just a few of the many examples of hard times in this industry.

The past 10 years have seen a number of changes in industries across the United States, but few have been hit as hard as the newspaper industry. From a loss of subscribers to a loss in advertising revenue, print newspapers are experiencing economic change unlike any other time in history. In 2009, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News stopped publishing in February, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased printing their publication and converted to an online-only format in March (and in the process, laid off 145 of their 165 employees), McClatchy Co., owner of the Miami Herald, announced in March it was cutting 1,600 jobs and reduce wages throughout the company, and even the venerable New York Times made a deal to sell its share of its headquarters and lease it back, raising a much needed $225 million in the process. More recently, in May 2012, the 175-year-old New Orleans Times-Picayune reduced its print-edition publication from seven to three days a week, making New Orleans the largest city in the United States without a daily newspaper. Many cities have been impacted by newspapers either completely shutting down, cutting back on publication, or moving to online-only formats, including Cleveland, Detroit, Portland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, and Honolulu. These are just a few of the many examples of hard times in this industry.
-Why do you think the newspaper industry has been hit so hard?
-What sources do you use to get news? Why?
-Do you subscribe to a local paper, and if so, do you receive a print copy or receive it electronically?
-How have changes in the news industry affected unemployment? Discuss how changes in this industry have resulted in not only cyclical unemployment, but also frictional and structural unemployment.
Sources: Shira Ovide, “Seattle Paper Advances Plans to Turn into Online-Only Publication,” Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2009; Kenneth Li, “End of an Era for Hearst’s Seattle Paper,” Financial Times, March 17, 2009; and Russell Adams, “New York Times Does Sale-Leaseback Deal,” Wall Street Journal,” March 10, 2009; newspaperdeathwatch.com

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