Media disruption continues as New York Times cuts jobs

Native advertising hasn't helped stem revenue declines as the media industry continues to struggle with a shrinking business model
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

The New York Times Company said it will close its Paris-based editing and production offices and eliminate or move 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 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 doing damage. And leading media companies have not been able to find a stable and sustainable business model after more than a decade of declining revenues

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

High-tech media companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter have depressed the value of all digital advertising. And they provide far greater ad distribution than any traditional media company or 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 have 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, the management does not recognize the irreparable damage it can cause. It 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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