Hard Times at the LJS

July 31, 2008 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Journal Star announced yesterday it has laid off 16 employees. Times they are a changin’ in the news industry, and this is just one symptom. The LJS still employs 424, so this isn’t a huge reduction, though try telling that to the folks who got laid off.

Interestingly, the very first commenter on the story suggests charging for online subscriptions. I’m sure the LJS is considering that. I’m not so sure that would be a good idea. Many media organizations much larger than the Journal Star have dropped or scaled-back their pay-for-content plans because they found that they weren’t as profitable as anticipated.

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The Comments

Neal July 31, 2008 at 2:24pm

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette charges for their online content, and they are one of the few papers in the country, particularly of that size, to be gaining in circulation.

Dave K July 31, 2008 at 3:11pm

As long as they blame the economy, they’ll never realize that the reason their paper is doing so poorly is that its quality and content are not worth 50 cents a day.  People get tired of the New York Times/MoveOn.org-esque editorials, and Don Walton’s constant gushing over Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama.  And, with the exception of a couple reporters (Deena Winter and Matt Olberding, for example), the actual news coverage is juvenile at best. 

I have to recall back in February when the paper declared Rush Limbaugh and talk radio irrelevant.  Since then, the LJS—and print media from coast to coast—have laid off staff and seen their circulation plummet.  (It’s actually been going on for several years, but that’s not the point.)  While this is going on, Rush signs an 8-year, $400M contract extension.  It makes you wonder how bad the economy really is, and who is actually irrelevant.

meatball July 31, 2008 at 4:33pm

Any word on who in the newsroom is out?

dosequis July 31, 2008 at 5:32pm

I have always been apposed to subscription models that also serve ads. I’d gladly pay a reasonable subscription for ad free content.

Moses July 31, 2008 at 7:23pm

At least it is still 50 cents in the paper machines and the LJS is 75 cents. I am not paying 25 cents more for an inferior product.

biancalana July 31, 2008 at 9:05pm

wire stories that I saw 3-5
days earlier on the web…

And please stop devoting 90%
of the front page of the sports
section for a giant picture….
if I wanted that I would head to
the oversize book section of the
library….that’s a lot of space
that could be used for, oh, I
don’t know…information?

Fletch August 1, 2008 at 10:58pm

The whole newspaper model is kind of becoming a pointless model in a lot of ways. I pay my monthly fee to get bombarded with a self-serving ad on page one, every day, offering me to pay more to pick up the paper that I already paid them to deliver. I like the Deena Winter stuff, and the Matt O stuff (his blog is a daily read), and the girl that writes about video games. I find myself most days not even getting the paper read, until the next day. When I see AP stories and the like, I’ve usually already read them somewhere online.

The political analysis is a joke. Don Walton should be put out to pasture. His tired inclusion of some idiotic baseball reference is, to me, much more lazy and selfish writing than his Obamagasms. Who cares? Haven’t John Mabry and Ken Hambleton beat this to death over the years? You like baseball. Keen. We get it. I love football. Should I start adding a paragraph about it every time I do a blog post?

I want to not like Cindy Lange-Kubick, but I have to say that more often than not, she hits a homerun.

I figure that soon, they’ll just price themselves out of the market one way or another. Either too much for a lot of readers to see the value, or too much for the advertisers to see the value.

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