Putting the Times in a Lockbox: Protect the Times by taking it private says Business Week's Jon Fine in a column. He figures assets sale of about a billion could defray a $5 billion cost of doing so. Take a look and run your own numbers here.
Pegasus News Sold: Busy summer. In the midst of Murdoch Madness, I missed the sale of Mike Orren's Pegasus News, which I mentioned in this morning's post to TV-station owner Fisher, of Seattle. Well-covered here by Peter Krasilovsky's Local Onliner, here. I've been picking up many signals that local broadcasters are amping up their web efforts -- going competitive for the same advertisers and readers that local newspaper sites thought they could "own". At this point, broadcasters get about 2% of their revenue from online, about a quarter of what local newspapers are getting -- but that gap could close within a couple of years. Taking the Pegasus News approach -- and platform -- is one more step in that direction. (Addendum: More from Pegasus on sale here.)
Twin Cities Layoffs Give Peek in Staff Cutbacks: As the names of those who took the Pioneer Press buyout become public, some have pointed out an interesting phenomenon. While early buyouts took out some of the most senior staff, the new ones also take out younger, though highly experienced people. In addition, librarian positions are becoming obsolescent. While Gannett's turning librarians into database managers -- focused on find and displaying publicly available community data -- most papers' are just buying out or laying off the librarians, an uneconomical "nice to have".
Anyone keeping a total of the number of years of journalistic experience lost this year in buyouts?
In addition, here's further numbers on the decline of reporting strength in the Cities. The Pioneer Press newsroom, which will be down to about 160, post buyouts/layoffs, for now, hit its peak in 2000 at 243.1 FTEs. Even in 1987, the paper had 210 FTEs in the newsroom