Shift Towards Digital Media Leading to Print Media Job Cuts
One of America’s largest daily newspaper companies, Chicago Tribune, is cutting jobs from its editorial team as it makes a shift further towards digital publishing.
According to an internal memo sent out to the employees by Bruce Dold, the chief editor at Chicago Tribune, an undisclosed number of employees are being laid off by the company as it turns its focus towards improving its digital presence.
The memo read: “We are making significant strides toward establishing a business model that will allow us to grow as we transition our newsroom for a digital audience.” It went on to say, “Today we have notified a number of employees that their positions have been eliminated.”
According to inside sources, the job cuts will affect more than two dozen employees at Chicago Tribune and its suburban newspaper, Pioneer Press. An estimated 14 positions are being eliminated from the company’s newspaper side of the business, including some in editing, while others were in manufacturing and distribution.
Chicago Tribune joins the growing list of newspaper dailies that are beginning or continuing to alter their business model to adapt to the changing media industry landscape. Earlier this year, we have seen other popular print media companies like Time Inc (NYSE:TIME), New York Times Co (NYSE:NYT) and News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), owner of The Wall Street Journal, cutting jobs as they shifted away from their newspaper businesses.
Just two months ago, Gannett Co Inc (NYSE:GCI)—another print media giant that distributes popular daily newspapers in Tennessee—began closing its studios and cutting jobs as it moved its operations online.
The print media industry, like all major American industries, has been disrupted by the rise of digital technology. American consumers now prefer to read their morning news on the go on their smart-tablets and large-screen smartphones, instead of buying a newspaper.
Advertisers are consequently turning towards digital media platforms where they find more traffic. As a result, newspapers are losing revenue in two ways—not only do they have fewer newspaper buyers now, but they are also losing a lot of their ad money.
The trend is forcing the traditional newspaper companies to improve their Web presence by cranking out share-worthy digital content with a faster turnaround time, instead of solely relying on selling newspapers.
Suffice it to say, as this trend continues, more and more Americans earning their livelihood from newspaper-selling businesses may be losing their jobs.
Feder, R., “Layoffs hit Chicago Tribune newsroom,” Robert Feder, October 12, 2017.