One of the oldest newspaper chains, Journal Register, went bankrupt late last week. It had too much debt and too little operating income. The daily newspapers in Philadelphia have also filed for Chapter 11. There have been rumors, almost certainly untrue, that The New York Times (NYT) will run low on funds to pay its debt. In the case of The Times it has valuable assets to sell, but its situation deteriorates each quarter. By most estimates, its second largest property, The Boston Globe, loses $1 million a week.
The obituaries of newspapers and now, magazines have been written by everyone who can hold a pen or type on a keyboard. The internet was supposed to save print. People who would not buy The Globe would read it online. Advertisers would support the migration to the internet by moving their marketing dollars there as well. It has not worked. Internet advertising is doing as poorly as advertising in any other part of the industry. And, the people who were going to read The Globe on the internet are going to MSNBC instead.