Sam Zell and his Tribune Company announced last week that they would trim 500 pages of news each week from the conglomerate's dozen newspapers, including the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. But is a paper split 50-50 between news and ads the solution for an industry in crisis? The New York Times looks at the viability of a radical plan.
In the short run Tribune will save money by cutting both newsprint and personnel costs, but "to the extent you diminish your product, you diminish your success, in print or online," said one industry analyst. "It’s a strategy of gradually closing down." USA Today's founder disagrees, saying readers only use a fraction of newspapers' offerings: “Can you give them the stuff they want, even though there’s less of it over all? I think you can.”