Here we go again... Advance Publications, which owns dozens of major market newspapers, may be getting ready to take the Garden State's largest paper from daily publication to three times a week, following a model it's been using in several other cities. Advance has trimmed print frequency for its papers in New Orleans, Syracuse, Harrisburg, Cleveland and elsewhere.
Advance cut ten percent of the newsroom staff last week at the Star-Ledger, based in Newark but distributed throughout the state. The company announced layoffs at other papers it owns in Easton, PA, Cleveland, and in southern NJ.
The Star-Ledger has a daily circ of almost 312,000 -- 184,500 in print and 127,400 online -- making it the Garden State's largest daily by far and the 16th biggest daily in the U.S. On Sundays, the circulation is more than 442,000.
A story last week in the Star-Ledger notes that Advance's moves have drawn criticism. In Ann Arbor, where Advance totally shut down the print edition of the paper and moved it online, the head of the Knight Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan said coverage has slipped due to "news on the cheap." In New Orleans, where the Times-Picayune has been cut to three print editions a week, residents and businesses in the Crescent City are not happy, saying their local news coverage is being shortchanged.
Hopefully, the Star-Ledger won't follow in the footsteps of the other dailies owned by Advance.
There's other discouraging news on the newspaper front, although it's hard to take this one seriously. New York Magazine reports that Donald Trump is looking to buy The New York Times. The Times declined to comment, and the article says it's unlikely that the Times owners -- the Sulzberger family -- would even entertain an offer from Trump. Let's hope not. Just what we need here in New York.