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Los Angeles Times Plans To Reinvent Itself To Compete Online
Los Angeles Times editor James E. O'Shea on Wednesday unveiled a plan to continue publishing the paper rather than perish, as newspaper ad revenue dwindles. In 2004, automotive print advertising at the Los Angeles Times was $102 million, explained O'Shea. This year, he said it would be $55 million.
"With our industry in turmoil, our company for sale, and our futures uncertain, it's easy to forget that journalism is a great calling," said O'Shea to his staff in a prepared statement that outlined a new strategy for the paper. "Sure, we all face daunting challenges, but we still have interesting jobs."
Perhaps not for long. The media industry cut 17,809 jobs last year, up 88% from 9,453 in 2005, according to a study released today by employment consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The firm said that's the largest annual job-cut total for the industry since media companies cut 43,420 jobs following the dot-com bust of 2001.
"Already this year, we have seen job cuts announced by Time Inc. and the New York Times Company," said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement. "These organizations will continue to make adjustments as their focus shifts from print to electronic. Until they can figure out a way to make as much money from their online services as they are losing from the print side, it is going to be an uphill battle."
"Clearly there's a sense of real trouble now, and the data would back that up," says Dan Gillmor, director of the Center for Citizen Media and a 25-year veteran of the newspaper industry. The newspaper industry's business model is in trouble, he says, adding that "it's scaring them, and it ought to."
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