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As Newspapers Start to Fold, Industry Seeks Survival Plan

With record numbers of layoffs at newspapers around the country and some other publications, such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, moving entire operations online, industry professionals are struggling to find a new business model to carry them through the changing media landscape. Analysts discuss the situation.

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    Finally tonight, all that bad news about newspapers. Jeffrey Brown has our Media Unit report.


    It had been widely expected, and today it became official: After tomorrow, Seattle will become a one-newspaper town, when the 146-year-old Post-Intelligencer puts out its last print edition and becomes a much smaller Web-only operation.

    The decision of the parent Hearst Corporation to abandon print for the Internet is the first for a large urban newspaper. Just two weeks ago, Denver's Rocky Mountain News shut down its presses after close to 150 years of putting out a daily paper.


    It's absolutely devastating to think that this is over.


    An executive with Scripps, the chain that owned the paper, explained it this way.


    The business model and the economy changed, and the Rocky became a victim of that.


    Indeed, the list of victims is growing ever longer. In Tucson, the Citizen, Arizona's oldest newspaper, will close this weekend, unless its owner, the Gannett Company, can find a buyer.

    And the San Francisco Chronicle is also fighting for its life. In the last few days, employees have offered concessions to keep the paper in business, and negotiations continue. The Chronicle lost more than $1 million a week last year. Its owner, the Hearst Corporation, has threatened to close the paper unless it can get significant savings. That would leave a major American city without a major daily newspaper.

    NANETTE ASIMOV, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle: We're waiting. We don't know what it's going to be. And we don't know. You know, it might be me. It might be the people I sit next to, and it might be the entire paper. So we're all extremely worried.