Cutting Editorial Staff Bad for Business

Author: Tim Berney
Posted: Jan 10, 2009

In a time when content is king, I'm surprised to see all of the layoffs in editorial departments at news organizations. If revenue is down, you can't eliminate those people that produce what you sell. Sure, that's an over-simplification of the issue. But news and information is what they sell.


At some point every failing company must decide whether or not what they sell (and therefore, their organization as a whole) is relevant. If it is relevant, they'll likely attract the audiences that advertisers want to reach. If consumers aren't interested, they no longer have a viable company.

If news companies still find themselves to be relevant, finding new and different ways to generate revenue is a likely key to their prosperity. The basic ad (print, TV, radio, even online banner) should be part of a more integrated and dynamic offering, and today that includes some sort of online component.

With fewer writers there is less content and in turn less to sell. That translates to fewer readers/viewers/listeners. Ultimately, this will lead to even less revenue – and the cycle feeds itself.

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