Newspaper Death Watch: Statistics show that print newspapers are cutting back on employees and switching from print to online versions in an attempt to save money. Many small newspapers across the country are disappearing altogether. How much will they be missed? A survey by the Pew Research Center asked readers if they would feel the loss of either print or online versions of their local newspaper. Forty-two percent said they would not miss their city paper much or at all. Twenty-six percent didn’t think the loss would hurt civic life in their communities, and nearly 30 percent said there would be other ways to get news if their local paper shut down.
2009 By the Numbers–following are more figures detailing the decline of newspapers in the United States:
- 919 employees were laid off at the Orange County Register on Sept. 1st when delivery was outsourced to the Los Angeles Times–the largest single layoff incident of 2009;
- 34 newspapers laid off 100 or more employees (that number does not include the Associated Press, which is a cooperative, not a newspaper; or the Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, or Sun newspapers;
- 40.7 was the average number of newspaper layoffs per day, including weekends and holidays;
- 143 newspapers stopped publishing a print edition in 2009;
- 55 newspapers reported layoffs in California–the most layoffs of any state;
- 584 newspapers laid off employees in ’09. Does not include corporate/non-newspaper specific layoffs (Associated Press, Dow Jones Co., Gannett Co. Inc., GateHouse Media News Service, Lee Enterprises, McClatchy Interactive, Media General Washington bureau, and Sun newspapers);
- 1,123 is the difference in the number of layoffs recorded in 2009 vs. 2008;
- 1 newspaper publishers or editors who have returned e-mails or other messages inquiring about layoffs; and
- 1 newspaper reported layoffs in Rhode Island and Delaware. In all other states, layoffs were reported at 2 or more papers.
Some of the hardest hit: percentage of newspaper staff laid off in 2009. These numbers show that large layoffs are occurring around the United States:
- 16% of newspaper staff at The Plain Dealer were laid off in 2009;
- 5% of newspaper staff at Newsday were laid off in 2009;
- 15% of newspaper staff at The New York Times were laid off in 2009;
- 10% of newspaper staff at USA Today were laid off in 2009;
- 17% of newspaper staff at The Houston Chronicle were laid off in 2009;
- 28% of newspaper staff at The Dallas Morning News were laid off in 2009;
- 40% of newspaper staff at The San Francisco Chronicle were laid off in 2009;
- 10% of newspaper staff at The Seattle Times were laid off in 2009;
- 10% of newspaper staff at The Star Tribune were laid off in 2009; and
36% of newspaper staff at The Chicago Tribune were laid off in 2009.