As Newspaper Sales Continue To Plunge, Newsrooms Buzz About Merger Between Sun-Sentinel and Herald

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

Florida newspaper sales continue to plunge and newspaper Internet sites are largely being ignored by paying customers.

That from the Floridabulldog.org, the website run by former Miami Herald staffer Dan Christensen. (Disclosure: I occasionally work for the Bulldog.)

Christensen’s report will fuel the speculation that the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel are headed towards a merger.

 

Dan Christensen

 

 

Tribune Publishing, the owners of the Sun-Sentinel, are discussing merger with McClatchy, owners of the Herald, according to numerous media reports.

If the Tribune sells to McClatchy, it would make sense to merge the two struggling South Florida papers.

The Sun-Sentinel had a 27 percent circulation decline Monday through Saturday from 2015-2017. The Herald’s circulation dropped 24 percent those same three years.

The two papers have under 11,000 paid Internet subscriptions apiece, although they are based in an area of Florida where roughly 5 million people live. Less than 22,000 paid subscriptions would have been a rounding error in the newspaper business just a decade ago.

News that McClatchy is considering purchasing Tribune caused more uncertainty among the diminished Sun-Sentinel staff, which has been repeatedly rocked by layoff and buyouts the past decade.

The paper claimed approximately 350 editorial staffers a decade ago. It now has less than 100, according to the Bulldog’s research.

Sun-Sentinel staffers told Browardbeat.com they are concerned any merger with the Herald would result in massive layoff at the Deerfield Beach-based paper. For instance, The Sun-Sentinel and Herald wouldn’t need duplicate reporters and editors handling the same sports teams.

Even if Tribune escapes the clutches of McClatchy, the future is far from bright for the Sun-Sentinel. A group of investors also is sniffing around Tribune, which is for sale.  History has proven that each time the company has been sold, staffers have been laid off.

Unfortunately, a merger with McClatchy or a buyout by anyone else would result in less coverage for Broward County. ┬áThat’s clearly not a good thing because Broward County governments need more, not less, people watching them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



6 Responses to “As Newspaper Sales Continue To Plunge, Newsrooms Buzz About Merger Between Sun-Sentinel and Herald”

  1. Old Timer says:

    It is hard to imagine anything other than the Downtown Miami Herald margenalizing Broward local news. Cub reporter?

    FROM BUDDY:

    The Miami Herald moved out of downtown Miami several years ago, just like the Sun-Sentinel moved out of Fort Lauderdale.

  2. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    First i like his blog( Christenson) and post comments.I think merging the two papers is a great idea.Yes, u r right the actual people buying the newspaper is down.However, u bling and they raise the price.Just today i paid $ 2.34 for the Sunsentinel.So buying the paper % might be down, but paying 2.34 it balance itself out.Subscription , raise the price.Which both papers have done.The Sun- Sentinel with all their wining will go nowhere.Call about putting a memorial, car sale etc.see how much they quote u.Its a fortune.Will see.Great idea combining the Herald.Two papers for the price of one.I for one would pay 3 bucks- per paper…

  3. No Loss says:

    I live in Tamarac so I haven’t read a story in the paper about my hometown for a long time. I stopped buying it for that reason. I get more news than I ever did from Tamarac Talking and its free.

  4. Sober as a Judge says:

    Here’s why journalism is dead.

    Once upon a time there was a proud fleet of ships, sailing side-by-side, each carrying precious cargo protected by proud and able captains and manned a mighty and devoted crews. The entire fleet sailed confidently on a known course over a calm and limitless ocean. All was going so very well.

    But then a decision was made to make the ships sail faster than the crews or any of the captains, or even the ships, or even the oceans will allow. Worse, they were to sail a dangerous course never sailed before.

    Handed down their orders, the scared captains told the crews do their duty. A few voices were heard sounding warnings, but they were quickly silenced. Following orders given, the captains and crews were amazed by how fast they sailed. The course they were on didn’t seem so dangerous. And it again seemed like nothing could go wrong.

    This new way of sailing is so much more fun than the old way. So they kept going faster and faster. Success can be a funny thing when you’re sailing. It sometimes makes you forget the horrible perils that lie just beneath the waves.

    Now drunk with success, the crew lost all sense of discipline and inexplicably started poking holes in their own boats. The captains jumped in on the fun also, they couldn’t seem to stop.

    They begin poking bigger and bigger holes not caring about the consequence, after all it was just so much fun. But they failed to notice that the ships were taking on water.

    When others told them to stop, that they were acting recklessly, they cast off those silly warnings. After all, what did these idiots know about how to sail ships?

    So self-absorbed were they in all their fun they don’t even notice the ships slowing down. And by the time they did the amount of water they had taken on was staggering.

    Just then, a few realized the fleet needed to stop and plug up all the holes. They needed to organize and bail out the water. But poking holes was so much fun, the crews and the captains didn’t listen and couldn’t stop. More holes, more water. So much fun.

    Then suddenly the ships started to sink. One by one they disappeared into the deep, sinking to the bottom, where they now dwell silent with all other things dead.

    Some of the crew went down with the ship. Others were smart enough to sneak off on lifeboats long before. They escaped before the ships sank. A whole bunch were left bobbing in the water astonished and wondering, “How could this have happened?”
    By nightfall they too were all gone.

    The moral of this story is a simple.

    Only a fool pokes holes in their own boat for kicks.

    The End.

  5. Plantation says:

    The papers are now irrevalent. No investigative reporting. Selling out to to the politicians. The Sun-Sentinel has their favorite politicians giving opinions each weekend. They need the money from government to run their legal ads. Sorry state of affairs

  6. Just One Vote says:

    @5. Plantation –
    So true. Glad others notice. Hardly movers and shakers, seems alot of ‘has-been’s’ and former electeds trying to stay relevant. South Florida 100? Hardly. S-S cut comments to the by-lines 6 months ago. Clearly did not want the public/subscribers weighing in. Lucky that browardbeat.com and Buddy Nevins provides this forum. Waiting to read the pulse of FL on November 7 once votes are counted. Of all 67 counties the one county I heard the party Chair’s were worried about – you guessed it – Broward.