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Opinion
Justin Fox

The Midsize Newspaper Is Toast

At some point, there won't be anything left to cut.
Deadline? Just dead.

Deadline? Just dead.

Photographer: Tom Stoddart/Getty Images
Corrected

Everybody who's been paying attention knows that it’s been a tough decade for American newspapers. But every once in a while it’s worth checking in on just how bad it’s been. The release of the American Society of News Editors’ annual newsroom census this morning provides an opportunity to do just that:

There were 32,900 full-time employees in American daily newspaper newsrooms at the beginning of this year, down from 36,700 just a year before. The industry’s modern employment peak was 56,900, in 1990, although it stayed pretty close to that level until 2007. Then the newspaper business fell apart, with a financial crisis and recession accelerating the digital disruption of the advertising-based business model that had sustained the industry for decades even as readership declined.

QuickTake The Fading Newspaper