For reasons both personal and professional, I’m concerned about ridiculous amount of turmoil in the media sector. It’s getting to the point where I’m tempted to shut off my mediabistro and paidcontent feeds before I end up with a massive ulcer. How bad is it going to get? Gawker honcho Nick Denton is battening down the hatches:
These supposedly brutal layoffs at Time and other titles amount to only 6% of headcount at the bloated Time Warner magazine group. Other media groups such as the New York Times and Conde Nast—a hiring freeze, how callous!—are being even more squeamish. From conglomerates to internet ventures, executives should be planning now on a decline of up to 40% in advertising spending during this cycle. Instead they’re sleepwalking into economic extinction—even those lean online ventures which were supposed to take up the mantle and preserve New York’s position as a media capital.
Even Denton admits that there might be a smidgen of gamesmanship here, but his analysis is important and worth reading to the end. I’m still trying to get my thoughts clear on this, but this corner will have more to say on newspapers, print media, and the future of media over the next few days. I hope.