Dinosaur Media Watch, Part III

Howard Kurtz, writing in the Washington Post (owner of Newsweek) laments about the plummeting morale at the news-magazine. Kurtz then continues explaining exactly why news magazines, and the print media in general, are losing readers and income.

Morale in both shops has been devastated as staffers complain about a blurred identity, lack of direction, management snafus and outsourcing to big-name writers that has left them wondering if reporters still have much of a role.

Financially, the Time Warner magazine is faring better than Newsweek, which is owned by The Washington Post Co. (Rick) Stengel says Time was profitable last year, while Newsweek has acknowledged losing money. Time has reduced the circulation guaranteed to advertisers from 4.1 million to 3.25 million. Newsweek has cut back from 3.1 million to 2.6 million and is mulling further reductions. U.S. News & World Report essentially left the field this month, becoming a Web site with monthly editions on consumer issues.

(Jon) Meacham, wearing a dark sweater in his office overlooking Central Park, says that “we don’t edit with the idea that there is a poor and uninformed reader out there who somehow needs illumination.” He sees his audience as “the virtual Beltway,” which he defines as people who watch Sunday talk shows, read newspapers and buy hardcover books.

Stengel, wearing a dark sweater in his office with a view of the Hudson River, says his philosophy, especially online, is “news for smart people. . . . We are arguably the best-known news brand in the world, and we want to leverage that.”

The print media no longer writes for the public at large. For the last couple of decades they’ve addressed their articles towards their philosophical counter-parts, the Eastern and Belt-way Liberal Establishment. Now they are reaping what they’ve sown and appear surprised they’ve made themselves irrelevant as is reflected by their declining subscriptions.

News for smart people,” says Rick Stengel of Time Magazine. Jon Meacham of Newsweek joins in saying, “we don’t edit with the idea that there is a poor and uninformed reader out there who somehow needs illumination.” He sees his audience as “the virtual Beltway,” which he defines as people who watch Sunday talk shows, read newspapers and buy hardcover books.” The view of Newsweek and Time is that News is too complicated and subtle for the masses, that only the sophisticated liberal has the capacity to understand nuances of current events and liberal philosophy.

The ARROGANCE of these people!

Read the entire article via the link above and you’ll understand that the quicker these mindless dinosaurs follow their predecessors into extinction, the better we all will be. I see that the New York Times has accepted $250M from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

The Times announced late Monday the financing agreement with Slim’s companies Banco Inbursa and Inmobiliaria Carso for $125 million each. Times President Janet L. Robinson said the cash infusion will be used to refinance existing debt and will provide the company with increased financial flexibility.

New York Times shares slipped 8 cents to $6.33 in morning trading Tuesday, the first trading day after the company announced the deal.

The New York Times also owns the Boston Globe and the International Herald-Tribune. Spokesmen at the Times say the funds will be used to service existing debt and to provide some financial flexibility (read that as taking from Slim to pay Peter, Paul and others.) Slim bought 6% of Times stock in September 2008 and has seen that $128M investment fall in value to $58M. He is now investing more to add to his existing loss in the Times.

I, for one, will be happy to see the New York Times follow the footsteps of the Seattle P-I and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune into bankruptcy. Perhaps, when these liberal propaganda organs have faded away, new ones can emerge who will follow the tenets of truth, fairness and integrity. Something that has been long lost with the current crop of disinformation artists of the Mainstream Media.