Where are our local papers going?

The state of the local media is a subject of much concern here on OP, and there have been some very interesting shifts in recent weeks. The most exciting change is the announcement by the Carrboro Citizen that they will be expanding to cover Chapel Hill and increasing circulation by 20%. (See this OP post by CC editor Kirk Ross last fall soliciting our feedback on the expansion.) They have hired Margot Carmichael Lester who is an experienced reporter and a local native. It is really gratifying to see this locally-owned paper succeed. I think it's good for the entire community.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Kentucky-based Paxton Media Group, which bought the Herald-Sun several years ago, is continuing the downward spiral of that paper. Recently, they yanked Chapel Hill Herald editor Neil Offen and swapped him out with Durham metro editor Dan Way.

I wasn't immediately concerned about this, but now we have learned that 1) the change was apparently not voluntary for Offen, who has been very involved in the Orange County community, and 2) Way comes to us with some kind of chip on his shoulder, as evidenced by his recent column comparing our community's relatively progressive ("PC") immigration policies with being lax on the men who murdered Eve Carson. If you think this doesn't make sense, you're not alone. The Independent's Matt Saldaña wrote a great blog entry dissecting this confused argument. I wonder if Way will be one of those journalists who thinks he needs to save "liberal" Chapel Hill from ourselves. I've seen this type at the Chapel Hill News and at the Herald before. Only time will tell.

Speaking of the News, their Orange Chat blog is increasingly breaking useful, or at least interesting, information. And yet they also sometimes slip into what I would almost call rumor-mongering as they seem to relish soliciting and publishing the most inflammatory comments from local officials. I guess this helps sell ads, but it does make one wonder about the outcry from papers that bloggers are somehow ruining journalism. It depends on how you do it, no?

Meanwhile, the Daily Tar Heel has been working hard. Their editorial staff seems to include students interested in the intersection of new media with old journalism, and this is a very good thing. While it doesn't necessarily improve the quality of the reporting, it does increase our ability to find, use, and interact with their reportage.  Today they were honored as local (mid-size) business of the year by the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce. Congrats, DTH!

Update (1/28): I'm embarrased that I neglected to reference the other major print publication in Orange County - The News of Orange. They are well worth mentioning, as the paper has recently started a blog and is also revamping it's main web site (which was sorely needed). So far their effort mostly consists of good intentions, but it's a great big step in the right direction and I look forward to good things to come.

Issues: 

Total votes: 250

Comments

Thanks for the comments about us and the expansion. Trying to right-size the paper in distribution and coverage has been the biggest challenge. The stories are out there and the interest in the paper is growing. We've also really picked up a lot of local advertising support in the past year and without that expanding anything would be impossible. Large institutional advertisers (university-related, grocery stores, car dealers, local gov'ts) that our competitors rely on still haven't come around, but we knew that would take time as we established ourselves. Once they do, we can add the features we need to make the Citizen a much more well-rounded paper.What we're focusing on is covering local government and the impact of policy on people and the local economy. This may seem really dull to some, but wait till something happens in/to your neighborhood. Holding policy makers accountable is the bedrock of the press and of our paper. I really appreciate the comments, ideas and criticisms we've gotten and, of course, all the moral support. Other papers and media get that too, but the state of the industry is such that many are not in control of their destiny.Thank you for supporting The Citizen and continuing to help us grow. Kirk Ross, editor   

Good to see The Citizen in racks around CH town gathering, eating, mailing, shopping places. Question: you still taking subscriptions? Looked but didn't find info on your website.

Thanks for the kind words.We are no longer doing direct home delivery. We bought out all our remaining subscriptions a month or two ago. Given that the paper is free and now pretty widely available it wasn't cost effective or, uh, smart, to continue the practice. If anyone wants a mail subscription (we mail first class so you get it while its fresh) we'll be happy to add you to the list. It's pretty expensive, though, and we don't make a dime off it

This month The News of Orange has expanded their online presence with a blog at http://hillsboroughnewsroom.blogspot.com/.

Thank you! I saw the new blog when it launched but had forgotten about it (after getting frustrated about not being able to post a comment, which I still can't). I've added it to my post above.

I'm sorry you're still having trouble posting, Ruby.  I've removed the word verification, so hopefully, you won't have any trouble. Please let me know if you.

 

-Vanessa Shortley

Education Reporter, The News of Orange County

The Carrboro Citizen has been a great addition to the community. They've put out some dynamite stuff. Notable in my memory was the excellent overview of our solid waste predicament.The Chapel Hill News has done some really good stuff. Mark Schultz is a local all-star. His reporting on the airport issue was stellar and contributed greatly to the community consensus that the airport search should be terminated.Meanwhile, the N&O doesn't understand that people want real news that relates to their lives & tells the truth and columnists who are in touch with the real world & have a track record of accuracy. Instead we get failed, tired pundits like Krauthammer & Wlliam Kristol. If those guys had been wrong so many times in any other profession, they'd have been canned long ago. Plus the N&O tiptoes around big corporations like Progress & Duke Energy, so their reporting on energy issues is flawed. It just makes for a medoicre product. The Herald-Sun has been a Grade-A rag forever it seems. Who cares. 

Thanks for the kind words about our hard work, Ruby. But I would like
to add that in addition to the innovations with online communication,
we have done some decent reporting and anyone who hasn't noticed hasn't
been reading.

We broke the news that University officials blamed the
economy when Alexandria's concerns over language were actually holding
up the process, Tori wrote that the toxicology report for Atlas Fraley
is finished and that experts say his autopsy is taking unusually
long, Danielle reported that the economy is hindering downtown
businesses ability to attract tenants and delaying the construction of
Walgreens, we reported that concerns about the crossing where a
Carrboro housekeeper was hit last month have been ignored for years,
and Mark explained why the gates of Hell shut. That is all since we got
back from break and apart from the meetings and events that have
sent our reporters all around town.

And that is before I even mention the great stuff
our other desks are doing in covering University and community life and policies.
Sure we might try new stuff but the people here are old fashioned
reporters who like to tell a story. So where is The Daily Tar Heel
going? While the city desk doesn't have the benefit of reporters who
have lived here for years, we are placing an emphasis on getting to
know the community and its concerns. Please contact me about what we
can do better or if you'd just like to talk over coffee (rose.l.max@gmail.com).
We want to find a place in the community alongside the great
publications that you mentioned above- all of which I read avidly. And
I'm proud of the staff here and the work that we've already done.

Max RoseCity Editor, The Daily Tar Heel

I have noticed that my recycling bin is getting lighter, primarily due to shrinkage of the N&O.  Last August when I renewed my subscription at the pit, I said to the salesman whom I've seen for years, that I am close to dropping the subscription because of the quality decrease  coupled with a price increase.  He replied "everyone is saying that".  But I'm just not ready to eat breakfast on my deck with a laptop, to which he replied similarly.I used to think that the shame was to pay for, kill trees for, and lug out to the curb, all the unread Raleigh-Cary advertising when I'm not in the market for a new house or car in Wake.  The short-term, selfish good news is that this is problem has been reduced.  The longer view, of course, is that the paper might not survive and I may be reading the news only under the banner of Bill Gates.

Even though its not print, NBC 17's MyNC.com is attempting to go back to the day of the local paper, providing a place for local groups (Non profits, churches, schools, Home Associations, etc) to promote their spaghetti dinners, golf tournaments, 5Ks and other events and projects.  Its hyper-localized with over 15 different communities having their own site with their own news.  Its a great merger of the local news of traditional media and the interaction of new media.

I'm with Joe.  I love my morning paper!  The thought of having to go on line for news and commentary gives me the shivers.  Imagine the increase in eye fatigue!  The sudden and premanent rush of business for ophthalmoligists! 

Eh, I'm mixed.  While I do appreciate physical paper that is passive (as opposed to an actively lit monitor), I also appreciate the brevity of, for example, Google News.  It has a few first-lines of different top stories, organized into a single page and multiple sections — easy for one-hand-with-coffee, other-hand-scrolling-and-middle-clicking-with-multiple-tabs of news.  I also recently discovered that it can harvest local news. For me, that works.

On the other hand, my eyes do get tired after prolonged use of the computer.  (Admittedly, I do spend > 10 hours on the computer in an average 24h period.)  Thinking pragmatically, I wonder what the price differential and personal hardship of self-printing my news would be? On the one hand, I'd ostensibly use less paper and ink because I'd only print the stories in which I'd have interest. On the other hand, I'd be already on the computer to decide what news stories to print. Then the paper I use is more expensive, power for the printer, (do I even own a printer?), … hmm.

In general, I find the net provides so many opportunities that (can) integrate well into my life.  Instant updates on news items, instant access to dictionary definitions, encyclopidias, to name a few.  Or, the perhaps larger example of NPR podcasts that are great for putting on my iPod Shuffle while I run or take care of mundane tasks around the house.

For the written word of syndicated press however, I do agree that it's suboptimal; my eyes, neck, posture, and wrists take more of a beating, my short-term memory is weaker, and for the fine folks actually doing real news gathering and journalism, it's (currently) less money in their pocket.

I am with you Catherine!  I must read a paper with breakfast.  I still miss having news print get on my fingers.  I can not imagine not having physical access to a paper.   It does not matter that I also get the news every day off the internet, the TV and a weekly news magazine.  I still need the newspaper.It would be interesting to have a survey of newspaper readership by age.  My guess is I am a dinosaur.

 This is my first week/weekend in a long time with no physical paper in the driveway (except for the CHNEWS on Wed/Sunday).    It is definitely something to get used to.    I'm on the computer so much anyway, might as well rely on the news there.  I don't miss it, yet. Laurin laurineasthom.wordpress.com  

Here are two reasons why I prefer the physical paper.  First, it is easy to  separate (and ignore) the ads in the paper, while the ads on the websites are obnoxious, they blink, they move, and they interfere with my reading of the news.  I understand that someone has to pay for the website (and for the paper as well), but I tend to rebel against the advertiser who uses an obnoxious ad --  the poster child is car dealerships.  Why any car dealership thinks that giving a guy a microphone and having him yell at me will make me want to buy a care from him is beyond me.  In a newspaper, the news looks like news and the ads look like ads and they are easy to separate.The second, and this has been a long study in the computer graphics field, is that there is far more information quickly available on a newspaper page than on a computer screen.  The physical paper compares well to a desktop while the  laptop screen compares well to the table of a coach airplane seat.An final comment, though it may be obsolete, or it may explain the mediocre quality of the Herald-Sun website:  A few years ago at a Durham Bulls game, I bumped into Bill Hawkins who was then editor of the paper and I thanked him for starting the website.  He replied that the website is a now necessary exercise in losing money. 

There are some obvious ergonomic differences - I doubt if anyone ever got repetitive stress injuries or carpal tunnel from reading paper-ink newspapers. But for me, even more important (since I DO get a lot of news on line) at least with a paper-ink paper, you know when you're done.  That may sound blithe, but think about it....  

I don't think that sounds blithe at all.  It's a great point.  Staying on task is a big problem, especially when using the Net.

I've posted a Q&A with Kirk Ross about the Citizen's plans. (Thanks, Kirk!)

You can read it here:

http://editdesk.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/carrboro-citizen-editor/

This is my fav Q&A. Its simple guidance that will save Journalism. Maybe not big corp papers, but the media that preserves and reform our democracy.

Q. [Andy Bechtel] The Citizen keeps growing even as many newspapers are struggling. What can a newspaper do to not just survive, but thrive?

A. [Kirk Ross] You have to get back to the land. Many newspapers are too large, too layered and too distant from readers. More has to happen at ground level. We’re all going to have to get out more, work a lot harder, connect with more people and build trust.

To thrive, newspapers must be more collaborative with the communities they serve, more inclusive and open to new sources of content and they have to absolutely own local government coverage.

Course it helps to cover local government when they let you know when the meetings are.To wit: Meeting? What meeting?

The
Town of Carrboro had a problem sending official notification of the
annual Board of Aldermen retreat on Monday. The board, mayor and senior
staff met for several hours. Mayor Mark Chilton apologized for the
error Tuesday and said Town Manager Steve Stewart was notifying members
of the media and offering an apology for the breakdown in communication.
According to Chilton, the press was not notified save a posting in the lobby at Town Hall.
Members of the media and interested members of the public are
commonly notified of upcoming meetings via email and through the town’s
website.
No members of the media were present at the retreat and materials
presented at the meeting have not been posted on the town’s website or
made available.

An agenda and letter we got today (Tuesday) on it are on our site. According to the agenda, the main focus of the retreat was the sagging economy and the strain on local governments.

The town manager shouldn't have to apologize for meeting with the mayor and BOA without members of the press in attendance.  They need this freedom when there's hard stuff to discuss out of the public eye. 

The law is pretty clear on this. The law reads:

§ 143‑318.12.  Public
notice of official meetings.

(a)       If a public body has established, by ordinance,
resolution, or otherwise, a schedule of regular meetings, it shall cause a
current copy of that schedule, showing the time and place of regular meetings,
to be kept on file as follows:

(1)       For public bodies that are part of State government,
with the Secretary of State;

(2)       For the governing board and each other public body
that is part of a county government, with the clerk to the board of county
commissioners;

(3)       For the governing board and each other public body
that is part of a city government, with the city clerk;

(4)       For each other public body, with its clerk or
secretary, or, if the public body does not have a clerk or secretary, with the
clerk to the board of county commissioners in the county in which the public
body normally holds its meetings.

If a public body changes its schedule of regular meetings, it
shall cause the revised schedule to be filed as provided in subdivisions (1)
through (4) of this subsection at least seven calendar days before the day of
the first meeting held pursuant to the revised schedule.

(b)       If a public body holds an official meeting at any
time or place other than a time or place shown on the schedule filed pursuant
to subsection (a) of this section, it shall give public notice of the time and
place of that meeting as provided in this subsection.

(1)       If a public body recesses a regular, special, or
emergency meeting held pursuant to public notice given in compliance with this
subsection, and the time and place at which the meeting is to be continued is
announced in open session, no further notice shall be required.

(2)       For any other meeting, except an emergency meeting,
the public body shall cause written notice of the meeting stating its purpose
(i) to be posted on the principal bulletin board of the public body or, if the
public body has no such bulletin board, at the door of its usual meeting room,
and (ii) to be mailed or delivered to each newspaper, wire service, radio
station, and television station, which has filed a written request for notice
with the clerk or secretary of the public body or with some other person
designated by the public body. The public body shall also cause notice to be
mailed or delivered to any person, in addition to the representatives of the
media listed above, who has filed a written request with the clerk, secretary,
or other person designated by the public body. This notice shall be posted and
mailed or delivered at least 48 hours before the time of the meeting. The
public body may require each newspaper, wire service, radio station, and
television station submitting a written request for notice to renew the request
annually. The public body shall charge a fee to persons other than the media,
who request notice, of ten dollars ($10.00) per calendar year, and may require
them to renew their requests quarterly.

(3)       For an emergency meeting, the public body shall
cause notice of the meeting to be given to each local newspaper, local wire
service, local radio station, and local television station that has filed a
written request, which includes the newspaper's, wire service's, or station's
telephone number, for emergency notice with the clerk or secretary of the
public body or with some other person designated by the public body. This
notice shall be given either by telephone or by the same method used to notify
the members of the public body and shall be given immediately after notice has
been given to those members. This notice shall be given at the expense of the
party notified. An "emergency meeting" is one called because of
generally unexpected circumstances that require immediate consideration by the
public body. Only business connected with the emergency may be considered at a
meeting to which notice is given pursuant to this paragraph.

  

This was a regularly scheduled meeting, which puts it under section A of the above statute, which I think we complied with.  We normally provide more notice than is required by law and we will continue giving lots of public notice.  This was an innocent mistake, but I don't think we broke the law, unless I am reading that statute incorrectly.

Law

Probably not a law breaking thing (we'll see what the NCPA says). I'm not sure what kind of penalty there would be anyway. After talking to the Town Manager it indeed seems like an innocent mistake. I was delighted to hear that steps are being taken to make sure this doesn't happen again.All that said, it's a pretty serious error. Unless there's a recording of the meeting or detailed notes, folks will not have independent knowledge of the views expressed by those in attendence, what happened or what was said. Given that the conversation focused on the economy and its impact, a good opportunity to better understand these things and our elected officials' take on them was lost.     

n/t

TIME Magazine's cover story this week, "How to Save Your Newspaper," by Walter Isaacson (a former managing editor of TIME and current president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and author, most recently, of Einstein: His Life and Universe) reviews the current situation faced by the print media.As he notes,

Newspapers and magazines traditionally have had three revenue sources: newsstand sales, subscriptions and advertising. The new business model relies only on the last of these. That makes for a wobbly stool even when the one leg is strong.

Issacson admits that "Even an old print junkie like me has quit subscribing to the New York Times, because if it doesn't see fit to charge for its content, I'd feel like a fool" and proposes a more expansive "charging for content" approach: 

The key to attracting online revenue, I think, is to come up with an iTunes-easy method of micropayment. We need something like digital coins or an E-ZPass digital wallet — a one-click system with a really simple interface that will permit impulse purchases of a newspaper, magazine, article, blog or video for a penny, nickel, dime or whatever the creator chooses to charge.

Read it athttp://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1877191,00.html 

My wife and I have been discussing this topic since John Drescher's column on Jan 24 (http://www.newsobserver.com/2711/story/1380070.html) failed to mention anything positive about the CH News.  She believed then that the N&O is getting rid of the CH News (either let it die from the starvation already done to it or preferrably sell it). So it was VERY interesting to us that the other day I received a survey phone call.  Some of the questions --"Do you receive the Chapel Hill News" "How many people read it?""How long do you keep it around?""Do you shop at advertisers in the paper?""Do you read the classifieds?"  Perhaps just a standard "how are we doing" survey to be able to pitch to businesses.  Perhaps not.  The guy wouldn't say who was paying for it.  I answered honestly.  Good news for the N&O on all but the last one (which, as a former Advocate carrier in my youth, is to my disgrace).  Did make me wonder whether my wife (UNC J-school grad, former DTH editor, and former N&O employee) is being paranoid or not....

Ted Vaden, in his N&O Sunday column re "baby papers," also failed to mention the Chapel Hill News which falls in the category he was touting. 

Another day, another attempt to use the worst-conceived newspaper website I've ever used.  It takes 4 clicks to do what should take one click on the Herald-Sun website.  Then I get to read the latest piece by Dan Way, a boilerplate movement conservative jeremiad against the stimulus bill which spends more time attacking the New Deal and taking cheap points about Joe Biden's comments from 5-6 months ago where he misplaced the invention of the television by a decade or so.  He then goes on to quote Roy Cordato, a JLF hack, who argues that the 1980 recession was worse than today, and blames it on Jimmy Carter.  The article does not even critique the stimulus on any substantive logic points, just that it's a trillion dollars.   But put that aside for a moment.Is this a local paper, or a national paper? Why would you burn your Sunday lefthand op-ed to gripe about the stimulus in the Chapel Hill Herald?  Sunday is still the best day for circulation, I assume?  There are so many local issues worth exploring.  Seriously, are they trying to drive readership into the ground so that they can blame being beaten by the competition of CHNews and the Citizen, and fold up the CH Herald to save money?   If this isn't the strategy-- having a miserable website, an editor fiercely out of step with the community, and writing on issues that are national, not local, why else would they do things like this?

Those who read my posts here know that I try to avoid posting anything to do with my personal opinion, but Dan Ways' column today appears to have been written by a random cliche stitcher together machine, and everything in it has been totally debunked, is false, completely irrelevant, or as we lawyers say in Latin, an argumentum ad hominem

Are these the true colors of the new editor of the CH Herald? Here's
more on his favorite economist
http://www.johnlocke.org/about/display_bio.html?id=25

Those are his colors.  The question is, at this point, does anyone care?

The problem with Dan Way's column was that it was an extreme right wing ideological rant.  Apparently he views the world through an ideological prism where all information is bent or created to fit an ideological purity as per Limbaugh, Hannity or O'Reilly.  I do not see how this kind of extremism whether it is from the far right or far left adds to the debate.  While I do not agree with most of what George Will writes or the late William F Buckley wrote there is and was a level of intellectual integrity.  Mr. Way has none.  The management of the Herald was really scrapping the bottom of the barrel on this appointment.

He's betraying his political stripes in a manner no editor ever should. It's fine for known conservatives like George Will to write columns like that, since they have no role in reporting the news. Way is responsible for coordinating all news coverage at the paper, and now his impartiality will be tainted, particularly as far as dealing with the plethora of Dem leaders in the area. Sensible editors always stick to common sense-type opinions in their columns and editorials rather than embracing partisan politics. He's also filling that opinion page with syndicated right-wing opinions...I didn't mind the good mix of syndicated stuff they used to run (it wasn't local but it was generally interesting), but this is ridiculous.

The Citizen's good but it needs to find its niche as far as reporting goes...they're still printing a lot of meeting stories that other outlets get to print days earlier. They have done a good number of in-depth pieces, which I hope will continue. I'd just like to see more local content on their opinion page and more Carrboro-centered stories no one else has. 

I don't read the Chapel Hill herald or the Herald-Sun.  However, I am now motivated to do so.Why?Well, it's like this:  roughly 1/3 of Orange County residents tilt to the Right, judging by the precentage of voters that are registered Republicans.  While a goodly number of these folks are likely located in the northern portions of the County and not necessarily the target audience for the CHH, in general, the viewpoints of the Right are wholly absent from print media in this area. The observation that an editor is "fiercely out of step with the community" really depends on which community one is referring to. If I was thinking about serving a print audience around here, from a business perspective, the untapped opportunity space is just that: underserved conservatives.  The rest of the market is saturated. 

I guess my point was: The market for all print media seems to be saturated (even over-saturated) at this point.And in any case, the Chapel Hill Herald's editorial page has not had much credibility for a long time.  Dan Way's arrival changes nothing in that regard.

I will only quibble slightly- Obama won Orange County with 72% of the vote.  Since Way's column is an anti-Obama screed, then theoretically, less than a third of the county is probably all that interested in what he has to say.But my key point is about the business decision Paxton is making. You're correct that Way's column may reach out to a political constituency that feels underserved by local media.  But those readers can get much better national (and regional)
conservative opinion writing in the N&O.  So why compete where you're clearly weak?  Why not fill a void by writing a conservative viewpoint on LOCAL issues? 

Patrick is exactly right. The abstract, simplistic, and redundant ranting and fuming on complex national issues does nothing to help us here in the community that the local paper purports to serve. It would greatly serve the community and help us find consensus solutions to our problems, if the local papers dedicated some space to exploring how local "conservatives" view our local issues.I've never forgotten working with folks all around the county in the early 90's when the county wanted to site a mega-landfill. So many of the people involved in protecting their communities were self-described Republicans & conservatives. But we were faced with a local problem for which no solution could be found in the Democratic or Republican party platforms or in the abstract, formulaic "liberal" vs. "conservative" debate.What we discovered, when we stood side by side as neighbors and looked at the facts on the ground, was that if we issued a moratorium on the landfill search process and dedicated ourselves to creating a highly aggressive waste reduction program that we'd be able to landfill the resultant trash in two much smaller, well-designed landfills. If the county commissioners had endorsed that approach in 1992, we would not be stuck preparing to foist our waste on some poor community over the horizon.But my main point is that, even though we were a mix of many political & philosophical perspectives, we were able to agree on a common-sense solution that had its roots in the best premises of our varying political beliefs.

Although it's just an aside and not central (maybe) to the issue of Dan Way's political leaning, I was astounded to read his opinion piece on smoking "Smoking, and being around it, is a choice."   http://heraldsun.southernheadlines.com/opinion/columnists/way/114-108551...  

The News & Observer's public editor and former CHN editor is ending his 32-year career at the newspaper to take charge of communications at the state Department of Transportation.That ought to be a less stressful position!

Ted, congratulations on your new post.  DOT needs all the help it can get.  Here's your first challenge:Please get us some basic maintenance on the DOT-owned roads in CH and  on the UNC campus.  Their condition is pathetic. Wasn't NC once called the "Good Roads" state?

This is rather sad.  Although I'm sure Ted is looking out for his best interests (including a reduction in stress), he's always seemed to relish his position as public editor.  And he really was a perfect fit at CHN, waving at passers-by from his streetfront picture window. 

Reduction is stress?  Given the situation at the DOT, even under new management, Ted will have a tough row to hoe being the "voice" and crafting statements for an agency with the problems that they have.

At least he can be pretty sure that DOT isn't going to file for Chapter 11.

For many people, moving on greatly reduces stress.  My lament is that Ted will be stuck with one message probably for the rest of his career.  Damage control has been his strong suit at the N&O, and he's well suited for the DOT challenge.  Seems like it would pay more. 

had been converted to a part-time position, so I suspect this will pay much better!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/McClatchy-Announces-prnews-14578309.html

Today, the company said it plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 15% or 1,600 full-time equivalent employees as the company accelerates efforts to manage through an increasingly poor national economic environment.

What part of this will come from the N&O and The Chapel Hill News?

Ironically enough, this came from the Boston Globe's online paper: 

CHH

Editor Dan Way announced on the front page of the CHH that begining this week, they will become a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday paper.

The most obvious of the changes is a switch from daily publication to three times a week -- Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. That's a necessary concession to the economic realities and staff reductions facing the entire newspaper industry today as well as ironing out longstanding dilemmas about how to handle crossover news in the Durham and Orange counties market. You can find more about the decision in Editor Bob Ashley's column today on page D8 in The Herald-Sun. http://heraldsun.southernheadlines.com/opinion/columnists/way/http://heraldsun.southernheadlines.com/opinion/columnists/ashley/

Times are tough in the newspaper business.

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