According to a news bulletin posted by the Denver Post, the Denver Post is trying to reduce the staff size for the newsroom by up 20 people. Reason for the planned reduction is high cost and reduced revenues. At the moment the Denver Post is trying to reduce the staff by offering buyout packages to employees 55 years or older as well as to employees with 10+ years of service.
This news follows national trends were traditional newspapers are seeing reduced revenues from the newspaper business. While some analysts blame the Internet and digital world for this trend, it needs to be noted that online publishers of news and information are not necessarily doing better. AOL as an example is trying to transition its business model from being an ISP (Internet Service Provider) to become an online media and content powerhouse. The strategy is not exactly working out for AOL just yet and it needs to be determined if this is just due to poor execution of the plan or if other reasons apply.
As an example AOL has been buying websites like Engagdet.com, The Huffington Post, or Techcrunch. Except for the Huffington Post acquisition, each other acquisition was followed by well-known writers and editors leaving voluntarily or less voluntarily. Michael Arrington of Techcrunch had put requirements in place with the purchase of his website Techcrunch, but several months later management decided not really to honor those anymore. Michael Arrington (founder of Techcrunch) did get fired by AOL shortly after. Writers and Editors of Engagdet that did not like to be employed by AOL, left and started a new competing website – certainly taking a few loyal readers (and possibly advertising revenues) with them.
Yahoo! Inc. is another good example where an online content provider is struggling. Yahoo has been trying for years to improve revenue and advertising income, but while they had some success to remove unprofitable business section, their core business divisions are seeing less revenue and less income, too. It’s tough to be a content publisher these days. I am wondering if reducing the newsroom staff (not just Denver Post) really helps or not. One concern is that less quality content might get published and that newspapers and online content providers are just spreading thin.
So, it will be interesting to see how the situation at the Denver Post develops. I certainly hope though that the buyout offers are decent enough so that people do not get screwed out of a job. With the economy not recovering who knows how long it will take for newsroom staff to find a new source of employment?!
Source: Denver Post Article