Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Layoffs | Downside of upside advertising forecasts

This is a cautionary tale about the rosy advertising revenue forecasts New York Times Co. and other industry executives made last month -- forecasts that have sent newspaper stocks to new 52-week highs. NYT Co. shares, for one, ended yesterday at $14.67, another closing high.

McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt was one of those executives speaking to the UBS media stock analysts conference. Editor & Publisher quoted his parting words for critics who said McClatchy and some of its peers would be bankrupt by now: "They were wrong."

Now, however, it turns out that better revenue times aren't a guarantee there won't be layoffs. Yesterday, McClatchy's Sacramento Bee and The News & Observer in Raleigh disclosed that they're considering a layoff of dozens of employees.

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