Do New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Cuts Mean Newspapers Are Doomed?

The latest major daily newspaper cutback may point to looming trouble for other print organizations.

FE_PR_100112_22Learning_Newspaper.jpg
By SHARE

The New Orleans Times-Picayune announced that it will cut back its print publication to three days a week, making it the largest metro daily so far to scale down paper publication. The publication will merge with affiliated website NOLA.com to form the NOLA Media Group, which will continue to publish online news 24 hours a day. The print publication will be home delivered and available on newsstands Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Ricky Matthews, who will become president of the new company, said its formation “signals a change in the way news is delivered to an increasingly wired New Orleans area audience.” He also said the changes, which will take effect this fall, “were necessitated by revolutionary upheaval in the newspaper industry.” The changes could involve the elimination of 100-150 reporters, reports the L.A. Times, and while declining to cite specific staffing changes, the paper has acknowledged that a workforce reduction is highly likely.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

With the rise of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle, print media organizations have had to adapt their content accordingly. Many have struggled with the new digital content model, trying to figure out how to profit from advertisements and compete in a flooded field of websites, blogs, and mobile applications. According to Newspaper Death Watch, 14 U.S. dailies have closed since 2007, and the Times-Picayune joins eight other papers that have moved to hybrid print/online model. In an effort to increase revenue some have even moved their online content behind pay walls, most notably the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

These reductions have become increasingly common over the past several years, as signals abound that lasting changes are becoming inevitable in the print newspaper industry.

What do you think? Does the New Orleans Times-Picayune schedule cutback signal more upcoming doom for the newspaper industry? Click here to vote and comment below.