Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NBC, media cuts being felt locally and nationally

I had the pleasure of moderating a media debate for Leadership Akron Monday, and it wasn't surprising that during the Q & A portion, we got on to the topic of the ever-shrinking traditional media outlets.

While the Akron Beacon Journal has been put in the spin cycle several times in the last two years, our TV newsroom has condensed as well .. and other cost-saving moves are in the works in every local, regional and national newsroom.

Yesterday, NBC announced plans to cut $500 million from its budget. You can read the story here. I don't know how the network's cuts might impact a local NBC affiliate, but it won't help. Our own parent company, Gannett, announced in August that it planned to cut 1,000 jobs across the newspaper side of the house .. so you can imagine the belt-tightening that must come quickly on the broadcast side as well to stay afloat.

M.L. Schultze of WKSU said during the Leadership Akron debate that she thinks journalism will be a great draw 10 years from now for young, hungry reporters because by then the media business will have survived these tough economic times and re-invented itself.

For those of us hoping to ride out the storm until then, I hope she's right.

In the meantime, the focus we journalists must maintain is doing quality work and not as much on the bottom line. It's still the stories -- and not the story tellers -- that matter most.


Chris H. said...

Cuts are being made? :)

SallyB said...

Part of what makes a good story, though, is the teller of the tale. Not everyone has the unique talent of bringing a story alive. It is those journalists who often most excel at their craft who, sadly, seem to be the victims of these cuts. Akron has already lost too much as it is and to lose its best journalists, whether photographers, cartoonists, columnists or reporters (both on air - TV and radio - and in the newspaper) diminshes this area greatly.

I know that the media has to look at its bottom line, but they should also consider what makes a community what it is, and a good chunk of that is quality media that can tell us what is going on in our area and to keep us informed of it.

Just my thoughts, from someone who has grown up as a die hard newspaper reader.

Sally Burnell
Kent, OH

Anonymous said...

It's a shame to think that we may eventually be left with minimal area coverage for news, sports, etc. I really don't want to rely on the internet for all of my news. I do get some of that info online, but I still enjoy watching the news on TV and reading the paper.