According to David Brauer, the Strib’s management is counting down to bankruptcy – or at least that’s what they’re telling their unions:
Publisher Chris Harte, who sent what I’m now calling the “six weeks to bankruptcy” memo Tuesday afternoon, wasn’t at a meeting Royce and other Guild leaders shortly before the communication was released. Instead, the Guild types found representatives of the Blackstone Group — the Strib’s “restructuring consultant” — and “a couple, three lawyers,” Royce says.Management, which seeks $20 million in cuts from the Strib’s unions, met its major locals separately. I asked Royce if he received the newsroom’s expected share; he declined to comment.
The question for readers, of course, is how many journalists will be left after the wreckage clears.
(Sarcasm on) “No, David: the real question is how many journalists are there now, and if having more actual journalism and less strident agenda-flogging might have helped the paper out (/sarcasm off).
No, I suspect that even a paper that had spent decades building a reputation for rigorously balancing points of view would be having trouble today. An interesting question might be “would a paper with a reputation for meticulous balance, or an out-and-out conservative paper, be in this kind of trouble today”?
Of course, there are painfully few examples of either. The Wall Street Journal is mistakenly considered “conservative” (their columnists are, but their news coverage is all over the place), and they seem to be holding their own, more or less, but then their market is a lot more specialized.