Media of the United States will suffer massive cuts: report

Media companies, which include film, television, advertising, publishing, music, broadcasting and print media, announced plans to cut 15,474 jobs by the end of the year, of which 11,878 correspond to news organizations

The media industry in the United States faces its worst year in a decade due to labor layoffs, while media companies continue to reduce staff and closing offices, according to a report by the consulting firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

According to the document released this week, media companies, including film, television, advertising, publishing, music, broadcasting and print, announced plans to cut 15,474 jobs in the year, of which 11,878 correspond to news organizations.

That’s about three times more than the 4,662 cuts announced in the media sector in 2017 and represents the biggest cessation since the 2009 economic crisis.

Members of the media, especially journalists, have had difficult years, said Andrew Challenger, vice president of the Chicago-based firm.

Many jobs were already in jeopardy due to a business model that tried to satisfy with publicity the consumer demand for free news. The media tried in many markets to put news behind paid ads, but consumers opted not to pay.

Some of the most significant cases this year include the closure of Youngstown Vindicator, the only newspaper in Ohio city, with 144 jobs lost, and the sale of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which resulted in the loss of about 160 jobs, including 65 of the writing.

The problems also impacted the digital sector with the cut last January of 200 jobs at BuzzFeed and the elimination at Verizon of 800 positions in its media division, which includes Yahoo, AOL and HuffPost, says the Challenger report.

It also highlights that media companies have been unable to keep pace with Facebook and Google to adapt advertising to customers based on their interests, making it difficult to generate revenue from online news.

The job cuts are likely to continue until these companies are able to find ways to increase their earnings online, Andrew Challenger said.

The consultant added that subscription models will only work if companies manage to convince consumers of the importance and value of their news

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