It doesn’t appear we are anywhere near the remaking of the newspaper business scene, if the headlines from the last couple of days are any indication. Consider this sampling:

Sun-Times draws attention, concerning the potential sale of parts of the flagging Sun-Times Media group, which has reported a first-quarter loss of $35.8 million.

Gannett offers 160 buyouts in NJ as ad revenue declines. The buyouts are being offered to those 55 and older, with at least 15 years service, at newspapers in New Jersey. If not enough are claimed, layoffs will follow.

Read the Fine Print: Smaller Newspapers Still Thriving, contains some good news, but overall circulation for the smaller-sized, locally-oriented newspapers is still down 2.7 per cent in the latest six-month period.

And, in Cablevision’s rosy vision for Newsday, Alan Mutter analyzes the “hyper-consolidation of local media by a single company” and suggests it may not work quite as well as the corporation hopes it will. (Alan’s earlier post, Why Tribune has to sell Newsday, spells out why Newsday had to go in the first place, and says the Tribune Company isn’t alone in being saddled with huge and hard-to-service debt.)

Now, this isn’t to suggest that newspaper companies are in such deep trouble that the industry is doomed, although there may be some who will argue that. But there does seem to be some clear trends here when it comes to ownership (the shrinking of large conglomerates), staffing (increasingly smaller operations, including newsrooms) and a readjustment of expectations for newspaper profit levels (down from the 20s and into, at the moment, mid to high teens), among them.

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