This is an interesting warning to Digital First employees:
Recent company-wide layoffs at Digital First Media newspapers are part of a calculated strategy to extract maximum profits in the next two to three years before shutting down or selling the chain, a prominent news business analyst said Wednesday.
Harvard Nieman Lab’s “Newsonomics” expert Ken Doctor said Digital First’s hedge fund owner, Alden Global Capital, is demanding that its papers meet a target profit level and are “basically cutting to a number.”
Newspapers cutting to the bone so every penny of profit can be extracted is an old game, and one I saw as a journalist covering the newspaper industry in the early 2000s.
It doesn’t matter was dreck gets published — dreck is cheap to create, and you don’t really need much of a staff to churn it out.
Finding and gathering facts, on the other hand, is a very costly enterprise, but it is this method that establishes roots, utility, and credibility within a community.
But the former is a smash and grab strategy for owners who have no business being in business of news.
But the strategy helped dismantle journalism, and for a new model of journalism to ever take shape, the business model of it has to be very carefully considered, and ensure those kind of rigs cannot take root and grow.