“The Internet and declining circulations didn’t kill newspapers, any more than long stories, skimpy attention spans or arrogant journalists did. What is killing a system that brings reliably edited news and information to readers’ doorsteps every morning for less than a cup of coffee is the way the people who have run the industry have reacted to those forces.”
That’s the central thesis of James O’Shea’s The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers.
O’Shea is a former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune and a former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times, so, no surprise, the “Great American Newspapers” he spends most time discussing all belong to the Tribune Co. It’s a mixture of solid reportage, personal reflection and opinion, and, well, he doesn’t hold anything back.
Have a look at O’Shea discuss the book — including the Tribune-Times Mirror “merger,” Randy Michaels and how newspapers can still succeed — on this month’s Interview Show.
(Please note: There is some material not fit for family newspapers in this interview — mostly involving Michaels.)
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