What’s black and white and in the red all over?

That would be the Sam Zell owned (via leveraged buy-out) Tribune Company, owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, which amidst the rapid decline in advertising revenue caused by the current Depression economic recession along with the high debt payments resulting from the leveraged buy-out, has hired legal and investment banking advisors to consider a possible bankruptcy filing. Query when the Trib Co. will send its executives to Washington in their corporate jets to ask Congress for a bailout of its own… ?
The dead-tree newspaper business has been under assault for years now from the internet; many newspapers may well have broader circulation on their web-sites than they do for their newspapers, newspaper readers tend to be fewer and older than before (kind of like Republican voters), and of course, advertising revenue has been under attack from internet competition.
But the current recession and its vicious effects, for example, on such large newspaper advertisers as the Big Three automakers (and even their foreign competitors, not to mention their dealers) and financial institutions… and in due course, everyone else, does not bode well for the long term survival of the papers. Of late, freeby giveaway compilation papers like Metro here in New York compete yet further for the limited ad revenues.
We won’t even talk about the pressure on actual newsrooms and their reporters who, rather than being seen as the principal asset of their organizations and the marquee selling point for the advertising and the readership is instead just seen as yet another cost, these days, a cost to be cut (after years of having already been cut). Is it any wonder that there is ever less hard-hitting investigative reporting, and ever more fluff and celebrity worship and plain old ersatz “balance” (the “story” being the Republican spokesperson denying the story’s fact or at least its significance as much as whatever actually happened).
Just another cautionary tale as companies that have been around since time immemorial… may fail even faster than other enterprises… depriving the public of yet another trusted source of information. While blogs would like to believe we can fill this gap, with few exceptions, most blogs do little more than play off of what the legacy media (often led by newspapers) provides. In short, this is, like much of what is now going on in this economy… not a good thing.