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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Newspapers Trumpenfreuded



Mini Mike's Bloomberg News service is losing customers who won't survive COVID-19. Bloomberg reported, "Long-Struggling Local Newspapers Pushed to Brink by Corona Virus." Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine, called pneumonia the "friend of the aged" because in the 19th century it took so many suffering people who could not be saved home to The Lord. COVID-19 is the friend of the ink-stained wretches of the Fourth Estate.

I am saddened, having spent four decades plying the trade.

But newspaper executives had a quarter-century head start on transitioning to the Internet. Thomson Newspapers, a chain of more than 100 newspapers, got out of the business more than two decades ago. Purchasers of those papers thought they knew better and paid top dollar for them. Fools.

In Charleston, the morning newspaper bought the afternoon paper with the intent of closing it and being the only newspaper in town. 13 years later, the owners lost everything in bankruptcy court. Buyer beware.

This is however Trumpenfreude in that 243 daily newspapers endorsed Hillary and only 20 endorsed President Donald John Trump. I get that newspapers are entitled to their opinions. That is my business, after all. I point this out because by 12 times as many newspapers endorsing her over him, newspapers showed how out of touch they are with we the people.

He won, remember? It was advice not taken.

As with all Trumpenfreude, the president has nothing to do with the downfall. Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti's greed got the better of him, which led to his conviction for tax evasion, extortion, fraud, and embezzlement.

Bloomberg reported, "Local papers are slashing staff and publishing less frequently as the already-battered businesses try to weather the COVID-19 storm. Many either won’t survive or will have to drastically reduce their operations."

The ads are going, going, gone.

Dean Ridings, chief executive officer of America’s Newspapers, a national trade association, told Bloomberg News, "I’m hearing 40% to 60% drops in revenue over the last 30 days. The advertisers are the local mom and pops, the retailers, the restaurants, who are understandably canceling their advertisements."

Ads keep popping up on cable TV, local TV, and of course, the Internet. Radio likely is suffering as so many people no longer are in their cars traveling to and from work.

Zero Hedge said, "Traditional print media was already on the ropes long before the crisis, in competition with exploding alternative forms of digital news and independent platforms, but the corona virus pandemic and accompanying shutdown of the economy could prove the final death blow."

Newspaper efforts to go online has largely been dinosaurs trying to do ballet. Paywalls? Really? They want people to rent their cows when milk is free? Old bad habits die hard.

The industry says newspapers are irreplaceable. If true, they would not be dying. Well, they had a good run.

But it is sad, especially for those 20 newspapers that broke away from the herd and endorsed Donald Trump. If you wish to support them online, the list is here.

27 comments:

  1. The only bad thing about newspapers dying is paper routes. How will young lads pay for their skis, bicycles and BB guns? Oh that's right, young lads stay inside and eat soyburgers.

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    1. Young people haven't delivered papers since probably the 90's. A kid on a bike probably couldn't do it anymore, anyway, with so few getting a paper.

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    2. Unless he had a route as the Tour De France. Think of the thigh muscles that kid would have.

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    3. When I moved back home I worke din the ciculation department ast our lccal news paper, Drove a bundle route.(this was in 2008,) dopping off bundles to the carriers. Then the parent company decided to go three days a week. Ok I quit. $200/mo wouldn't cover the gas, oil and maintenance . So bye. this was 2010. Well my hometown paper is now three days a week, no delivery-all by mail and they closed their print shop in 2017. One other factor is that the paper was editorially somewhere to the left of Bernie
      Sanders-and "Orange Man Bad" should have been the letterhead..
      No freaking wonder they are near death.. We lost our "nickel Ads"to Craig's list, as print slowly sinks in to the Tarpit of irrelevancy... I am sorry to see it go but change is inevitable
      and no one at he local paper saw it coming...Oh the one that did was the Editor a the time-they fired him for being right. He's a real estate broker now..

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  2. I worked 9 years for the KC Star & Times back in their Cap Cities days. Then there was only one; the Star. I left. Art Brisbane left, too, for the public editor desk at the NY Times until that newsroom proved too far left for Brisbane.

    I went into pre-press equipment sales, service and installation. That was the nineties, but the digital revolution was on the horizon.

    I'm not the brightest bulb in the light table, but even I could read the writing on the mark up: go digital or go unemployed.

    Never look back. You're not going that way...

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  3. I was laid off from a job back in 2008, got another at a 30% discount and I had to take a paper route. 400 papers each morning by car. Did it for two until I got back on my feet. Not much of that going on now.

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  4. A paper route is no way to earn money. What you are essentially doing with routes the way they are these days being motor routes is trading the miles of not paying for repairs into cash because if you continue you will breakdown and will have to have repairs. Sooner than you would've if you didn't have the route.

    Newspapers enjoy the cover of calling you a contractor thus you have zero protections and have to file for taxes on your own. (sure you can try to avoid paying them but with 1099's these days and the IRS hip to the jobs that people will try to avoid paying taxes on, is it really worth the chance?

    Thus the pay you get is much less than a normal job. Less than minimum wage. And if it's a motor route, the only way you get paid is if the car is running and can complete the route. Running a route 7 days a week is hard on a vehicle and you are working it over and above normal usage.

    I had a route that ran almost 75 miles and to get it done took some skill and a bit of pushing the envelope.

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  5. No loss by me, as I quit my local paper 10 plus years ago, and I don't miss it at all. Then, shortly after, I quit cable, and life is good.

    ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and all the other leftist corporations that broadcast leftist propaganda as news, will be next, when the primary generation that supports them, the boomer generation, dies out. They had better wake up and change, because the writing's on the wall.

    PBS will go once government funding for it goes. And it should gone away long ago.

    FLOlson

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  6. Back in the 90's the radio station I worked for published a website. Everyone said, "What's a website." When I'm in the truck I listen to Rush on the radio. When I am home I listen on his website. A radio station called me a couple of years ago and asked me to work for them. I passed. I made a good living at it in the 70's, 80's and the 1st half of the 90's.
    Subvet

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    1. I did radio sales from 1988 thru 1996. Local cable advertising was the 1st major disruption and internet was obviously the next salvo. Couldn't imagine trying to make a living that way today.

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  7. My cities newspaper is owned by Buffett; and while he is not as bad as Bezos, it still tilts hard left.

    About 6 months ago the paper' brain trust decided to enact a 50% rate increase. Even though I have read a daily newspaper since I was in the 7th grade, I refused to literally pay for their incompetence. So I let my subscription end.

    Though I would miss it, I don't. Even the Sunday is a short, poor read. WTH.

    Keep up the good work DS.

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  8. If all newspapers go out of business, more trees can be targeted for toilet paper production. Win-Win.

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    1. Newspapers??
      We don't need no stinking newspapers!!
      Even my birds don't like 'em.

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  9. Delivered three newspapers (not at the same time) on a walking paper route back around 1970. They were Charleston Gazette, the Charleston Daily Mail and the Logan Banner. Reading the editorial pages I quickly learned that conservatism is what I believed, strongly. Also learned that delivering newspapers was no way to make money. I went to college and got a bachelors degree in electrical engineering. Mike Adams

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    1. Jack Maurice won a Pulitzer writing those editorials in the Daily Mail

      Quite flattered to share a reader

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  10. Don: Please don't pick on the poor dinosaurs and compare newspapers to them. The dinosaurs were doing just fine until Giant Meteor decided to stir things up.

    Call them Joe Bidens and you'll be about right.

    BTW, Dinosaurs are still here. They're called birds.

    TarsTarkas

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    1. Birds are not dinosaurs. Gators, Crocs, and others like them, are.

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    2. Nope, T-rex proteins that have been isolated are like chicken's, and there have been croc fossils found with t-rex bones in their stomachs.

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  11. I would've given up on our leftist rag years ago but the wife won't have it. I still enjoy the crossword and jumble and the opinion page gives my blood pressure a boost in the morning with my coffee. It'll all be over soon, though, and good effing riddance to their Commie asses.

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  12. Good Riddance.

    Silver lining to this current hysteria.

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  13. Our county had the Cecil Whig and the Cecil Democrat The Whig was established in 1848. The Democrat went away 6 or so decades ago and the Whig was bought by a large corporation several years ago and now has layed off workers and only puts out a paper twice a week. Sad.

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  14. I had a paper route in Schenectady, NY in the late 50's. Snowed a lot there, it was a slog in the winter. Also had to go collect. Had a book with little receipt tickets for each subscriber. I learned to like having money young. I always had a job from then until I enlisted in '67.

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    1. Aloha Tom! Me too! (except the NY part and the snow: I was in Hilo HI!) The collection book, oh my (like VSG DJT (now POTUS) with the rentals, starting out)? I remember my paper, printing the Sunday big edition on Saturday morning; we had a volcano eruption Saturday night, so when I pedaled Sunday @0-dark-Thirty down to the corner where I picked up my bundles (~220 papers), and saw the headline that "Eruption Imminent, yo" I scrawled w/pencil on each paper (above the fold) "Blew, Yo!" (or some-such). For which, since so many of my customers in Hilo called in to the (hapless, now) Editor that they appreciated that heads-up, I was awarded a column in the paper (in which the Editor totally butchered any relevant facts, like my name!) and received the "Newspaper Boy (sic) of the Year" prize: a headlight and turn-signal blinker set for my 3-speed bicycle (that had no battery but ran off calipers that clamped on the front tire, made no doubt in Chy-Na?). Good times: I used to hang out with the "ink-stained wretches" on the loading dock @ the paper, watching the press run ...

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  15. Last year the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation quit running editorials on Monday and Saturday. Laid offf their local op-ed writers. Two weeks ago they quit running syndicated op-eds on all days but Sunday. Their "balanced" op-eds from the right are never Trumpers George Will and Mona Charen. No more Pat Buchanen or Walter Williams. Their excuse was the ediorial page had become nothing more than the rehashing of the same arguments. The real excuse was money. The AJC has become little more than a small town daily. As much as I like a newspaper in my hand, this is my last year as a subscriber. It is a liberal rag. Let it die. - GOC

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  16. My first real job after high school was for our local newspaper in the circulation dept.this was in 1958 and at that time it was a Conservative paper but I had grown up in a Democrat/union household.( I started out at 35cents an hour)
    Today it is the exact opposite, I am a Trump conservative but the newspaper leans towards liberal.
    Funny how times and people change.

    Kate

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  17. Newspapers can survive if they concentrate on local news and events. Trying to report on US and world news is pointless, as they ever will be too late. Also having a truly balanced editorial section will be very helpful. My wife won't give up the paper just for the obituary section.

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