Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Media Disruption: 80 newsroom jobs to go at SF Chron

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 21, 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle, reported to be losing as much as $1m per week, is to cut 25% of newsroom staff by the end of this summer.

"This is one of the biggest one-time hits we've heard about anywhere in the country," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, in Washington.

Eighty reporters, photographers, copy editors and others, as well as 20 employees in management positions are expected to be laid off by end of the summer.

http://www.sfgate.com...


Foremski's Take: When I left the Financial Times in the summer of 2004 to become an online publisher I started to warn of the coming disruption in media, especially in newspapers and magazines. I could see from my vantage point that the online economics of publishing could not support the mainstream media's operating costs.

And while it would take time to take effect, most newspapers and magazines would not be able to make the changes neccessary, they would not be able to downsize fast enough or cut costs fast enough. This is because they are in the grips of a disruptive technology. And the key feature of a disrutive technology is that you can see the train wreck ahead of you but you can't get out of the way.

That's what happened with the microcomputer/PC--it was a massively disruptive technology. Mini and mainframe companies went out of business or consolidated. Even IBM barely survived and had to reinvent itself as an IT services company.

This is what is happening within the media industry--the train wreck is dead ahead and most companies won't be able to get out of the way of it. Because the Internet is a media technology and media is where the disruption is happening.

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