The cutback gamble at the New York Times
It’s no secret that these are tough times for firms that process wood, throw ink on it, and send the processed wood to readers. Even the big boys, such as the New York Times, are not immune to economic pressures. So even as papers move their operations online, they also make decisions about where to focus their activities.
If you are a Times subscriber who lives outside of the five boroughs, this will affect you.
The New York Times this week quietly ended its coverage of restaurants, art galleries, theaters and other commercial and nonprofit businesses in the tri-state region, laying off dozens of longtime contributors and prompting protests from many of the institutions that will be affected. They foresee an impact not only on patronage but, in the case of the nonprofits, on their ability to raise funds to survive.
In short, the restaurateurs who have just opened a tony new restaurant on Long Island – one that would be attractive to the average Times reader – can’t count on the Times to enhance their marketing any more.
When I originally saw this article shared by my friends on Facebook, they felt that the Times was shooting themselves in the foot. If the suburbanities can’t get local information from the paper…they’d just go find another paper.
On the other hand, if the Times is concentrating on being a world paper of record, it knows that its readers in Moscow or Beijing aren’t going to care about yet another restaurant in Long Island.
And there are opportunities for others. The article quotes a reviewer from Eater New York, who praised the Times’ local restaurant critic Joanne Starkey. But what wasn’t said – now a lot more people will be visiting Eater New York.