That said, a recent nameless critic of my blogs about production shifts and layoffs at the Freeman sarcastically asked the following: How do I sleep at night?
The answer is, not well. Difficult decisions that negatively impact people's lives will do that to someone who publishes a newspaper - or operates any business for that matter. I like to say that the last good night's sleep I had was in 1978. That's not precise, but it's probably not a bad guess.
Meanwhile, here are the thoughts of John Paton, CEO of our parent company, on his blog about "why we at Journal Register Company are doing what we are doing."
"That the newspaper industry is profoundly changed is a given. In the last four years half of all newspaper industry advertising has disappeared. Half. What took more than 200 years to build saw half disappear in four years. And it isn’t coming back anytime soon because how people want to access our core product – news – is also profoundly changed. And the way advertisers spend to reach our core customers has also changed. They spend less in newspapers and more elsewhere.
"If we want to survive we have to adapt to that change. And that won’t be easy because the new revenue streams of mobile, video, widgets and web will take years to grow to the levels that support our current cost structure. And then there is the cost of building those new platforms.
"We will have to cut our infrastructure costs – overhead, buildings, production, distribution, etc. – if we are to survive to enjoy that new future. So that means consolidation, in-sourcing and out-sourcing to reduce those costs. And training both current and new employees on the necessary new skills. ...
"So, yes, some of the jobs will be eliminated in that process and some added. All newspaper companies – including JRC – will be smaller going forward as they grow into more modern multiple-platform news companies preserving the jobs and fostering the careers of the vast majority of our current employees."