‘They made a decision not to be a viable newspaper’

Here’s yet another example of “newspaper companies made the choice to destroy newspapers which means newspaper destruction was inevitable due to randomness and things like ‘change’ that we are not going to explain or quantify or really research anyway, here is some mush:” 

Hurricane Katrina dealt a staggering blow to New Orleans 10 years ago this week. A far lesser, but still lingering, punch came in late 2012 when Advance Publications, the owner of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, launched a bold strategy to arrest the paper’s financial free fall.

A bold strategy. Firing a shitload of people is a bold strategy now. Because nobody else has ever tried that before. Bold!

And financial free fall? Hardly. The Times-Picayune was profitable at the time Advance brought the axe down, but you’re not going to read about that here.

What are you going to read about? If you guessed “corporate weaselmouth nonsense,” congratulations, you win this bucket of bullshit!

“Our company recognized that iteratively changing the business culture was not going to solve the problem,” says Mathews, whose face appeared on mock “Wanted” posters at the peak of the “Save the Picayune” campaign. “We could no longer do it incrementally.”

What the does that even mean? Changing the business culture? Let’s review: They knifed a bunch of dedicated people in the back, made home delivery incomprehensible and inaccessible, switched up their printing schedule three times in a year, and then blamed their customers for not throwing money at them. That has tits-all to do with the business culture or incremental changes, and everything to do with you guys being morons who could screw up a popsicle stand on the hottest day in July.

It’s certainly not news that America’s newspapers have been battered by the Internet and the recession. Over the past decade, the nation’s 1,300 daily newspapers have lost about 25 percent of their revenue and an equal percentage of their daily subscribers, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Which still does not tell me if that leaves them with enough revenue to do their jobs. “Less” is not “insufficient” and it’s incredibly lazy to use the two terms interchangeably. The conventional wisdom is not the same as fact.

Farhi goes on to note that cutting print has meant cutting the thing that makes the money, but somehow that didn’t factor into his assessment of the Advance strategy (if you can call “let’s hope nobody notices we’re just greedy bastards because the Internet is here for us to blame” a strategy):

Asked whether the “digital-first” strategy is succeeding, the normally voluble Mathews pauses. “I don’t think you can say that,” he replies. “There’s not a finish line that any of us see in the near future.”

But hey, at least it’s BOLD!


2 thoughts on “‘They made a decision not to be a viable newspaper’

  1. Iteratively? Incrementally? Bullshit. I’d read the TP my whole long life, but we cancelled our subscription after the paper went to 3 days. I felt bad because of the staff who did not lose their jobs, but we had to do it. The Baton Rouge Advocate stepped up with a daily for New Orleans and the surrounding areas, hiring some of the staff that was let go and even hiring away staff who survived the cull. It’s not the same, but I give them due credit that we have a daily delivered to the house.

  2. Sounds like they are either 1) idiots or 2) just looking for an excuse to get rid of the publication entirely. Possibly both.

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