We have gone through other periods when great newspapers succumbed to new economic realities. Most American cities once had three, four or more competing dailies; now, most are down to just one. But those earlier rounds of attrition were exercises in survival of the fittest. The difference now is that newspapers are in trouble no matter how fit they are.
It’s been a lively week in the newspaper world, and the excitement hasn’t exactly been of the desirable variety. Earlier in the week, Tribune Co. Chairman and CEO Sam Zell announced major cutbacks at Tribune papers across the country, and then The New York Times’ Valentine’s Day edition brought word that the Gray Lady will also be downsizing its staff.