A month before he was let go as editor of the Contra Costa Times, Chris Lopez told a gathering of Bay Area public relations professionals that “there’s a lot of stress in newsrooms as we shrink … There’s a lot of stress because we’re learning new skills. You can’t survive in my shop right now if you can’t collect audio with the story or you can’t produce Flash presentations.”

Lopez’s remarks came during a panel discussion Sept. 21 sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America’s newsletter The Strategist. Panelists included (from left) Lopez, Youth Outlook editor Kevin Weston, Schwarz Communications West Coast GM Gary Thompson, and journalis Dan Neuharth (son of USA Today founder Al Neuharth). Here’s a link to the entire transcript.

Here’s a couple of other things Lopez said:

    • “Consolidation is going to shake out in many different ways and in many different forms, though. You walk around the East Bay, and there are ethnic publications that are just growing and growing. Local community weekly publications are a growing part of the industry. Maybe big mainstream newspapers, like the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News, are going to keep having to [reduce] costs, but there are still going to be a lot of newspapers out there in different forms. It’s a healthy industry.”

    • “You’re going to even see new media technology companies having to form partnerships with old media because newspapers are cash cows. They generate a lot of money. These business guys know that. They’re smart, and they’re figuring out how to form partnerships. Newspapers may eventually be owned by new technology, but they’ll still exist.”

[PPC, Oct. 20: Coco Times editor Chris Lopez ‘replaced’]

SF Press Club News

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