Blogger Alan Mutter (pictured), a former assistant managing editor at the Chronicle in the 1980s who today is a venture capitalist, says the elimination of 100 jobs in the Chronicle’s newsroom “will make only a dent in the growing losses at the increasingly troubled newspaper — which is losing $165,563 a day. The job cuts will save $8 million a year — only a third of the approximately $25 million lost by the Chronicle in the first four months of the year. He says the paper’s loss this year is 38 percent greater than the loss it had in the same period a year ago. His blog contains other figures too, which he says were obtained from industry sources. He writes:
- While most other metro papers are struggling to sustain their typical robust operating margins, the Chronicle is one of the few big-city dailies that actually loses money every day it continues to publish.
The Chronicle’s year-to-date deficit of $165,563 per day is roughly equivalent to the annual pay and benefits of two journeyman reporters. If the paper continued losing money at the same rate every day for the rest of the year, it could fire every journalist in the joint and still not break even.
With continuing uncontrolled losses of this magnitude, the Chronicle, if it were a standalone company, would be going out of business.
Mutter points out that the Hearst family has deep ties to the Bay Area and a pride of ownership that has allowed the losses to continue for years. But he says other cuts may be on the way, including perhaps the sale of the paper’s 5th and Market headquarters, which is on the edge of the city’s new shopping district and might fetch a high price. Rumors about the sale of the Chronicle building have been floating around since late 2005. (Photo credit: CBSNews.com)