Casualty Lists Updated for Newspaper Industry

Last Updated Aug 12, 2008 5:29 PM EDT


The New York Times is one rung of the ladder above getting a junk bond rating and a Moody's analyst says the company may need to reduce its annual dividend (which runs to $132 million annually) in order to avoid junk status.

Meanwhile, "recovering journalist" Mark Potts has compiled a useful PDF on the newspaper industry's job cuts over the past year, which he calculates totaled at least 6,311 at the nation's top 100 newspapers by circulation.

Here are the top ten:

  • Los Angeles Times 350
  • Palm Beach Post 300
  • Miami Herald 290
  • Seattle Times 286
  • Detroit Free Press 226
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution 200
  • Newark Star-Ledger 200
  • Chicago Tribune 190
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 190
  • Ft. Worth Star-Telegram 171
Extending back a few years, to the round of cuts that started in 2004-'5, reveals a somewhat different list in terms of overall job cuts:
  • New York Times 600
  • Houston Chronicle 410
  • Los Angeles Times 350
  • Boston Globe 345
  • San Francisco Chronicle 345
  • Chicago Tribune 310
  • Dallas Morning News 301
  • Philadelphia Inquirer 298
  • Miami Herald 290
  • Seattle Times 286
The gloom that has settled over the newspaper industry is palpable. As all the historic sources of revenue -- display ads, classified ads, circulation and newsstand revenues -- continue to deteriorate, this decade has become the most challenging the industry has ever faced.

Every company on these lists is investing in growing their online operations, but none are yet monetizing their digital products at a scale that would begin to offset their losses.

Thus, the pink slips just keep coming. Newspaper people have always joked that their product quickly becomes tomorrow's fish wrapping, but when the top daily in the country literally faces junk-bond status, garbage jokes no longer draw the chuckles they used to.

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital, Salon.com, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.