Counting newspaper casualties UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Counting newspaper casualties UPDATE

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 8:32 AM

I detect a general lack of interest in the travails of the newspaper industry among the blog readership. I get it. Many have already left newspapers behind. Others might simply wonder why that market sector is deserving of more concern than auto workers, bank back offices or any of the other dislocated, disrupted lives in the brave new economic world.

But, I'm interested. It's my business. My blog and all that. The evolution of the new NWA newspaper monopoly, with its unique 50-50 profit sharing agreement between two of the state's wealthiest men, will be interesting to watch. But the complicated internal mechanics of this arrangement (for example, who ultimately holds the hammer on tough decisions that lie ahead?) are mostly inside industry baseball. More important today are the real people -- dozens at least -- who seem certain to have their lives interrupted by layoffs this week.

For them and those who care about them and newspapers, here's a good piece in the new web publication Ozarks Unbound on this high stakes game of "musical chairs" by retired newspaperman George Arnold. His calm, rational voice distinguished the editorial page of the NW edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette until his recent forced retirement. I'm happy to say that I have plans for future contributions from George in the Arkansas Times.

UPDATE: A correspondent says job offers are expected to begin this afternon for those who'll be hired by the new combined newspaper company. I'd invite all those with interest to post information here as you learn it about this developing new operation. Who stays/who goes/other elements of the reorganization.

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