The Boston Globe is offering employee buyouts again, and seeking a reduction in force of 60. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s quota of heads is 20 while the flagship New York Times will reduce 100 positions.
Certainly the newspaper’s major problem is the loss of its near monopoly on local advertising revenue, but the chronic drop in circulation is a corollary. Yet the Times finds itself disrespected by a significant segment of its available market for subscribers. Rasmussen Reports this week (emphasis mine):
Just 24% of American voters have a favorable opinion of the New York Times. Forty-four percent (44%) have an unfavorable opinion and 31% are not sure. The paper’s ratings are much like a candidate’s and divide sharply along partisan and ideological lines.
By a 50% to 18% margin, liberal voters have a favorable opinion of the paper. By a 69% to 9%, conservative voters offer an unfavorable view. The newspaper earns favorable reviews from 44% of Democrats, 9% of Republicans, and 17% of those not affiliated…
I suspect opinions of the Globe are similar. John Hinderaker of Power Line blog comments:
There is a lesson here: if a newspaper devotes its resources and its inherited goodwill with the public over a period of decades to advance the interests of one of our political parties, sooner or later people will notice.
Granted competition from the Internet is their #1 threat, and also granted that Republicans are minorities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. But why should struggling newspapers continue to antagonize a substantial segment of potential subscribers?
Because Pinch Sulzberger is happy to do so, I’d surmise.
That is why the Globe has seen its last circulation revenue from this household.