Another gloomy week for publishing
Another dark week for the publishing business, capped by a double-barrel blow yesterday when news emerged that the New York Times was slashing its dividend and the Associated Press was slashing its workforce.
New York Times’ decision to cut its dividend is particularly noteworthy, since it could up the pressure on the Ochs-Sulzberger family to make even more dramatic moves down the road — like maybe selling parts or all of the media company.
The family has resisted any calls to sell the famous publishing company, but cutting the dividend makes it tougher for some of the younger family members who rely on that income. Check out the recent profile of family member Dave Golden in New York magazine.
Meanwhile, the New York Times said it would curtail capital spending and lower its operating costs. It did not say whether it would cut more jobs… although the Associated Press pretty much the stole the show on job cuts, anyway, with its announcement that 10 percent of its workforce would be eliminated.
Keep an eye on:
- Concerns are growing in Hollywood that buyer interest in DVDs is plummeting as the global economic crisis worsens (NY Times)
- After weeks of shuttle diplomacy, a U.S. federal mediator brought labor negotiators for major Hollywood studios and the Screen Actors Guild back together for their first meeting in four months (Reuters)
- High definition Blu-ray disc players may be one of the holiday season’s best sellers, but they will still fall short of expectations, due to the tough economy, the head of Sony’s U.S. electronics unit said (Reuters)