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Business Week predicts Sun-Times' demise

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Do you think a newspaper in a major market really is going to go down for the count in the next year or so? I mean, down, done, out of business -- not a JOA, not a merger. I wonder if the Sun-Times would try to go completely online before eating its gun, to see how long (briefly?) it could sustain itself without trucks, printing presses, newsprint, ink and other distribution costs. Would it be able to find a buyer for its used presses?

    Would it maybe be able to find a buyer for its own damn self, who might turn it into a shell of a paper? You know, a glorified shopper, halving its newsroom staff size, giving up any pretense of journalism. That would be the one-foot-in-the-grave approach, probably.

    I just think that all our normal grousing and whining will take an urgent, scary turn when the first behemoth collapses completely. If we see the Sun-Times shut its doors for the last time, the way the Chi. Daily News did 30 years ago, it's going to be a sad day.

    Then what's next? Waiting for the first major market to lose its one newspaper? Could things ever get that bad?
  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Unthinkable to imagine Chicago as a one newspaper town....especially if that one paper is the dry-as-toast Tribune. A city with that much diversity should have a paper doesn't speak only to white collar conservatives.

    Sad and scary prediction.
  3. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    I don't see the Sun-Times dying _ in fact, in that article, it says there's still plenty of cash on hand, if I read that correctly.

    Still, it's a shell of its former self. I was shocked at how much smaller the newshole was when I picked one up recently.

    Someone out there will buy it, because I think they can get it pretty cheap.
  4. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    With all the horror stories coming out of California I could see that happening somewhere like San Jose.

    I think Houston could be a candidate too.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Maybe it could be the flagship for CNHI or (dare we dream) JRC?
  6. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    I think the people at the Sun-Times would rather see the paper die than have those crap chains buy them.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Then you don't know the situation.
    Three bad years with an estimated 16-20% erosion of revenue and a 5-10% decline each year in circulation and those cash reserves are gone.
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Doesn't Houston only have one paper?
    Could a city that large really have its paper fold?
  9. The Granny

    The Granny Guest

    Oh, what will Mariotti do?
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't bet for or against it happening.
  11. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    I can see it happening. They're not going to find a buyer for the paper. I think they will find someone to buy the other papers in the company. Those papers still have a chance.
    Who wants to buy a second fiddle newspaper in a dying industry aside from someone with a local, sentimental interest or the need for their own voice (ala the Moonies and The Washington Times)?
    Even then, they're inheriting a paper and a company that's losing a ton of money. I think whoever buys it needs to get away from the stock market (as do most newspaper companies and, frankly, most companies in general. Shareholders don't give a shite about serving the public well or having anything of quality. There's a ring of hell, I believe, for some shareholders, especially those that whine and cry. You made a bad decision to buy the stock, especially Sun-Times Media Group stock that's now about 70 cents per share. Now shut up and live with it.)
    The only inevitable choice is to shut down. I would feel horrible for the people there, and it would hurt having only one newspaper in town. But how many towns have more than one newspaper (not in a JOA) aside from New York, L.A. and Columbia, Mo.?
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