Ads determine the news hole in a ratio meant to show a profit; the news hole includes everything not an ad: photos, illustrations, headlines, comics, recipes, weather map, etc. Editors get page layouts with the ads blocked in. They work around them.
Monday through Friday, WVXU News Director Maryanne Zeleznik cheerily announces it's a minute before 5 a.m. and leads into NPR's 'Morning Edition' and local programming. No spouse or roommate could be so chipper, and she doesn't flag audibly during the next five hours. It's not the perkiness of an ingenue but the confident sound of a village Wise Woman who enjoys her special knowledge and role.
By limiting home delivery to days that most appeal to advertisers (Thursday, Friday and Sunday) while reducing production and delivery costs on four days, The Detroit Free Times and Detroit News can save a lot of money and some journalists' jobs.
Prompted by the troubled U.S. economy, Greater Cincinnati's only remaining daily newspaper laid off several employees Dec. 2 and 3 under strict orders from its owner, Gannett Co. Although the number of layoffs wasn't disclosed, at least 30 people (including 13 in the newsroom) were let go, sources say. Further, The Enquirer's 'newshole' will be reduced by six pages on Sundays and a total of 30 pages across the other weekdays beginning the week of Dec. 28, says Editor Tom Callinan.
Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan is a veteran print journalist trying to reconfigure his 'paper' and staff under awful conditions in the Internet Age. Success will include keeping older, affluent readers and attracting younger, increasingly affluent readers. He doesn't need my advice, and I'm glad I'm not in his position.
As the financial world churns and tosses, you might hear someone offer a warning against businesses becoming too complacent. "What the railroads failed to understand," this person will say, "is that they weren't in the railroad business." The moral: The railroad companies mistook their medium (trains) for their core product (transportation). The newspaper business is now being put through the railroad analogy grinder, and the comparisons are apt.
Spreading cancellations of Associated Press memberships could leave our premier international news service unable to maintain its breadth and quality. AP is the major source of international news in our daily papers and any diminution will degrade our already dismal understanding of events beyond our borders. About 100 papers gave two-year cancellation notices to the AP in recent weeks; whether they're negotiating ploys in a fee dispute or rethinking of news priorities is unclear.
A tenet of ethical reporting is to verify information not personally known to the reporter. That's true even if -- especially if -- a public official, a public figure or a syndicated columnist makes a claim of public concern.
First, some facts. Advertising supports most newspapers. Advertising in daily papers is slipping dangerously. Now, some thoughts. Dailies have been dying for decades, and the situation is similar for weeklies and "local" radio stations.