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Columnist Jeff Jarvis of the UK's Guardian publication quotes the editor of the Los Angeles Times saying that online ad revenue is now sufficient to cover entire editorial payroll costs, including both print and online. Jarvis calls it a "moment in history," and it is, if it is true. It gives hope to ailing daily metro papers. Nielsen Online data for September indicate that the LA Times electronic publication is fourth among U.S. daily newspapers behind the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today. The Union-Tribune is not among the top 30 in the Nielsen list. The U-T has just laid off 20 percent of its pressroom employees -- 20 workers, including seven journeymen and 7 apprentices. Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, has implemented a program requiring most US. employees to take a week off without pay. The publication eMarketer estimates that U.S. newspaper ad revenue declined 16.4 percent last year to $37.9 billion. It will be down to $28.4 billion by 2012, says the publication.

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Comments

banjoman Jan. 14, 2009 @ 6:07 p.m.

How does the LAT editor know what the financials look like?

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Don Bauder Jan. 14, 2009 @ 10:34 p.m.

Response to post #1: He probably spoke to the publisher. Editors have to know something about the books. I would think at any large paper, the editor would be told about how much revenue online was bringing in. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 14, 2009 @ 10:36 p.m.

Response to post #2: Possibly. Editors can lie with the best of them. Best, Don Bauder

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classico Jan. 15, 2009 @ 3:28 a.m.

OK, we've covered the print and online editorial payroll. Now we can move on to the electric bill, taxes, capital expenditures, janitors, accountants, IT people, maintenance, lawyers, publishers, window washers and advertising personnel.

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paul Jan. 15, 2009 @ 7:43 a.m.

They'll cut the IT people first. You always cut first what you don't understand.

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Don Bauder Jan. 15, 2009 @ 8:33 a.m.

Response to post #5: Good point. Editorial costs are only part of the whole. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 15, 2009 @ 8:36 a.m.

Response to post #6: Papers are also making the grievous error of, when cutting the editorial talent, getting rid of the best writers and reporters, who happen to have the highest pay. This leaves the paper with a bunch of kids right out of college in key editorial slots. It shows. And hurts circulation. It's the same mistake some retailers make: cut the salespeople who are best paid. Pretty soon customers realize they can't get qualified help anymore at the store. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 16, 2009 @ 11:22 a.m.

Driven by a 40 percent reduction in advertising since 2006, The San Diego Union-Tribune today (1/16) announced a sweeping cost-reduction plan that will temporarily reduce its top executives' pay, eliminate 401(k) matches, suspend merit-based raises and include unspecified staffing cuts.

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Don Bauder Jan. 16, 2009 @ 6:30 p.m.

Response to post #9: Yes, that is discussed in the post above. Best, Don Bauder

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