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

Media Disruption Continues: Native Advertising Won't Save Hundreds Of Jobs At New York TImes

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 27, 2016

The New York Times Company said it will close its Paris based editing and production offices eliminating or moving up to 70 jobs.

It is just a fraction of hundreds of jobs that will be lost in the second half of this year, reports Claire Atkinson for the New York Post.

"There's a goal of a couple of hundred people," said a source familiar with talks. "They don't want to pay out big packages, and they're having negotiations with the unions." The layoffs would likely occur between the Aug. 21 end of the summer Olympics in Brazil and Election Day on Nov. 8, sources said.

The New York Times management was hoping that "native advertising"-- in which brands such as computer maker Dell publish adverts in the newspaper looking like editorial content -- would help to turn around its fortunes. 

Foremski's Take:

The job losses are a reminder that the disruptive forces at work in the media industry are still here and still at work. And that leading media companies have not been able to find a stable and sustainable business model amid continually declining revenues

It is one of the largest failures of the Internet, that we haven't been able to figure to a value-recovery mechanism for the value that journalism provides society.

Tech-enabled media companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter have depressed the value of all digital advertising. And they provide far greater ad distribution than a large national and international newspaper such as the New York Times.

The management of the Gray Lady has consistently misunderstood the economics of their own industry and has been years behind important trends. For example, the NYTimes was an early partner with Google in 2004 and it was several years before it recognized it as a competitor,

Similarly, with native advertising, it does; recognize the damage it can cause. The management of the newspaper allows large brands to place editorial content that looks as if it were written by reporters, but is sold as advertising. The management is risking the loss of readers' trust -- the newspaper's most valuable asset. 

With native advertising, The New York Times management is jeopardizing the future of the newspaper for a handful of beans.  And there is no magic goose laying golden eggs in this story -- just more pain and layoffs. 

Media disruption continues...

 

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