Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Denver slashes in Rocky's wake

The MediaNews Group-owned Denver Newspaper Agency, which provides non-newsroom services for the Denver Post, fired 40 people on Friday and is set to let another 160 people go in the coming weeks, according to the Denver Business Journal.

The DNA, which was created to consolidate business services for the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, had been expected to slash its staff following the demise of the Rocky last month. Former LANG head and current DNA president and CEO Gerald Grilly said that the cuts will help DNA "shape a new business model' to adapt to "new market realities."

“We are not just ink on paper anymore," said Grilly about the cuts. "We are true information providers across many platforms."

There is certainly increased competition, and responding to the challenges of the digital era is the biggest obstacle facing newspapers today. But this attitude might come as a surprise to many LANG employees - especially all of the online and "new" media staff that have been slashed throughout MediaNews over the past several years. There has yet to be a cogent argument that justifies trimming resources and reducing the core business at a time of increased competition. Yet the industry response to new challenges has always been to retreat, regroup, and far too often, surrender. We can only hope that any new business strategy not only recognizes the importance of reducing costs, but the value in strengthening the product and the newsrooms that produce it.

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