Houston Chronicle cuts 12 percent of staff
March 25 (Reuters) – Hearst Corp’s Houston Chronicle is cutting 12 percent of its staff, the newspaper said on Wednesday, as publishers continue to suffer from the weak advertising environment.
No word on how the partisan liberal slant of news reporting is affecting circulation.
The Chronicle is the ninth-largest U.S. newspaper by weekday circulation and the seventh-largest by Sunday circulation, according to the U.S. Audit Bureau of Circulations. The job cuts — announced to employees on Tuesday by Chronicle Publisher Jack Sweeney — are part of an effort to reduce costs amid unprecedented change in the newspaper industry, the paper said.
Last week, Hearst eliminated the print edition of its ailing Seattle Post-Intelligencer, moving it online. And Hearst has said it would close the San Francisco Chronicle unless it gets significant concessions from its unions, including the ability to cut staff. It secured concessions from one of its largest unions, and talks continue with the other, a Hearst spokesman said on Tuesday. Earlier this week, the New York Times Co (NYT.N) said it planned to sell the Times Daily newspaper of Florence, Alabama, to a regional publisher.
Newspaper publishers are also contending with declining circulation as their readers move to the Internet, where most news is free.
Free of Bias, certainly. But let’s not address THAT.
In a sad, related note, Congress is rushing to save their best friends, the mainstream (print) media:
U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers
By Thomas Ferraro
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks. “This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat,” said Senator Benjamin Cardin.
A Cardin spokesman said the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.
Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies. Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements.
Cardin’s office said his bill was aimed at preserving local and community newspapers, not conglomerates which may also own radio and TV stations. His bill would also let a non-profit buy newspapers owned by a conglomerate.
In recent months, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Rocky Mountain News, the Baltimore Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle have ceased daily publication or announced that they may have to stop publishing.
In December the Tribune Company, which owns a number of newspapers including The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times filed for bankruptcy protection.
Two newspaper chains, Gannett Co Inc and Advance Publications, on Monday announced employee furloughs. It will be the second furlough this year at Gannett.
No word on whether the “Steam Engine Revitilization Act” will be introduced today by the Senator. His “Tri-Corner Hat Revitilization Act” continues to languish in committee.