Sunday, December 14, 2008

Editor of Anchorage Daily News: "We're shrinking!"

Anchorage Daily News editor Patrick Dougherty announces the Incredible Shrinking Anchorage Daily News:

Longtime readers already know that the paper has changed more in the last two years than it did in the previous 20. The physical size of the paper is smaller. The number of pages is fewer. A wide variety of features, from comics to columns, have been eliminated. We have reduced the news staff by 40 percent, and the jobs of remaining employees now include producing an ambitious Web site in addition to the printed paper.

Still more changes are afoot, as we further tighten up on expenses to weather the worsening storm.

Beginning in January, the Monday through Thursday papers will be smaller and drastically reorganized. They will consist of two sections instead of the current four. The first section will include all local, national, international and business news, opinion and obituaries. The B section will start with sports, followed by features, classified ads, comics and weather.

On Friday, the paper will look much as it does now, with local news, business and obituaries in the A section. National and international news, opinion and weather will be in B. The main difference will be the elimination of the Life section. In its place will be the two Play entertainment sections. That's where you will find the comics, Ask Amy and Miss Manners. Perfect World will no longer appear.

The Saturday paper will be four sections: Local news, business and obituaries in the A section. National and international news, opinion and weather in the B section. Sports and Life, including comics, will be in the C section, with Classified in D.

On Sunday, the paper will be seven sections and only slightly reorganized. Local news, business and obituaries will be in the A section. B will be nation, world, opinion and weather. C will be Classified. D will be Sports. Life & Arts will be E. F will be Classified. G will be TV.

The two most significant changes in the Sunday paper will be:

• elimination of the standalone Outdoors section. Outdoors content will become part of the Sports section during the week; Travel and Science will move to the Sunday Life section, and
• reduction of the TV news from 24 to 16 pages, primarily by reducing the number of channels listed.

As the paper gets smaller, it makes less sense to have multiple sections of few pages. We can be more efficient with fewer, bigger sections. We recognize that this diminishes some of the convenience of the current organization of the paper for readers. For that I apologize.

Under our current circumstances, we simply don't have the choice of preserving the status quo. Our core mission is local news coverage, and the changes we're making in the paper are designed to preserve or enhance local news coverage -- in the paper and online -- and that is happening at the expense of other traditional elements of the newspaper.
Anchorage Daily News closes Juneau bureau
Anchorage Daily News cuts 25 (Sept)
Cartoonist at McClatchy's Anchorage Daily News leaving
McClatchy reporter who covers Sarah Palin: "most of us don't like her"
Anchorage Daily News eliminates 35 jobs (June)


Anonymous said...

Does this mean gossip, anonymous snarks, and mass e-mailed messages forwarded to Sill-ybee from the weakened ADN will no longer be used as newsworthy.

Oh no, how will Sill fill the few remaining pages without help? The Sacbee and her sister paper ADN are in even deeper straits now. Shrinking? The McClatchitanic is going under, flotsam and jetsam is all we see already.

Anonymous said...

You want to know how bad it is at a McClatchy paper? First the KC Star has blogs write their stories now they have readers send their photo's in for stories. Exactly what are the employee producing? Nothing!!!!! Every daily paper their begging for content for that worthless piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

Your fury is exceeded only by your inability to punctuate.

Anonymous said...

I learned that from reading the KC Star. Oh, I mean The Rats! Have you sold that useless building that produces a product that nobody wants yet???

Anonymous said...

Does this mean the Anchorage Daily News will have to cut back to five daily pages bashing Sarah Palin?

Anonymous said...

Like most newspapers, they haven't yet figured it out: readers are going to the internet for their news because it permits them to decide what is important --- rather than an editor in NY, Anchorage, or elsewhere. If the ADN, NYT or others ever thought of, say, fairly investigating conservative causes, rather than constantly trying to portray them in a negative light, this might not have happened.

Newspapers are going the way of the Town Crier as a news source. Unless they get "bailed out". Ha!