Optimistic newspaper proprietors in the UK like Sly Bailey and Tim Bowdler blame the business’ current malaise (we’ve covered over 1,000 newspaper job losses in UK since October alone) on an advertising downturn that’s merely “cyclical.” In fact, 2009 is more likely to bring more layoffs, further consolidation and the death of certain long-running titles than it is a cyclical upturn in fortunes, as publishers grapple with the reality that their businesses have changed fundamentally and forever.
In 2008, every newspaper group in the UK either cut regional budgets, closed offices, shut titles or cut staff – in some cases, all of the above. In one way, this is nothing new — cutbacks are part of life for most newspapers and magazines nowadays. But there’s a strong case for saying 2009 will mark a shift from seasonal, sensible belt-tightening to the long-term shrinking of the newspaper industry in Britain. Here’s why…more on PCUK.