NEWS CLUES: Like A Censored Ad For The Truth

$166 Million In The Hole, Washington Post Closes L.A., Chicago And NYC Bureaus

newspaperchart_042808_1_1.jpgThe Washington Post, in a significant retrenchment, is closing its remaining U.S. bureaus outside the capital area. The six correspondents who work in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago will be offered assignments in Washington, while three news assistants will be let go. The money-saving moves, coming on the heels of four rounds of early-retirement buyouts and the closing or merging of several sections, are the clearest sign yet of the newspaper’s shrinking horizons in an era of diminished resources. “The fact is, we can effectively cover the rest of the country from Washington,” Executive Editor Marcus W. Brauchli said Tuesday from New York, where he was delivering the news in person to the Post bureau there. Brauchli, a former foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, acknowledged that “unquestionably there are advantages to having someone on the ground at times.” But, he said, “we are not a national news organization of record serving a general audience. Nor are we a wire service or cable channel.” Maintaining that The Post’s strength is to view issues through a “Washington prism,” Brauchli cited recent examples of education and financial reporters filing dispatches from other cities to illustrate national trends. Brauchli is under pressure to cut costs because The Washington Post Co.’s newspaper division, which includes several smaller papers, lost $166.7 million in the first three quarters of this year. [via WASHINGTON POST]

Time & Conde Nast Joining Forces To Create iTunes For Magazine Content

mac_large_1.jpgSome of the magazine industry’s biggest names are on the verge of forming a new company that would allow them to take the digital future into their own hands. The company would make up one of the biggest alliances among rival publishers ever formed in print media, with Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst all expected to join, houses that together publish more than 50 magazines, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and O, The Oprah Magazine. The company will prepare magazines that can work across multiple digital platforms, whether the iPhone, the BlackBerry or countless other digital devices. The company will not develop an e-book, but create something that people familiar with the plans compare to iTunes—a store where you can buy new and distinct iterations of The New Yorker or Time. Print magazines will also be for sale. [via NEW YORK OBSERVER]

CURTAINS FOR SAAB: GM Threatens To Kill Brand As Early As Next Week

saab_93b_ad_1.jpgGeneral Motors said it could decide next week to close its Saab Automobile unit after the Swedish company that planned to buy the brand backed out. It was the third time in less than two months that a sale of a G.M. brand has been called off, reflecting the difficulty of selling underperforming divisions in the midst of a global sales slump, Nick Bunkley writes in The New York Times. G.M. said on Tuesday that its board planned to determine next week what to do with Saab. Closing the brand, as G.M. initially planned to do if it could not find a buyer, is a strong possibility, two people with direct knowledge of the company’s plans said. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the board had not made its decision. The other options for G.M. are to seek another buyer or keep Saab, though both those steps are considered less likely. When Penske Automotive terminated its deal to buy Saturn in September, G.M. immediately announced that the brand and its dealerships would close. [via NEW YORK TIMES]

NBC Refuses To Air This PETA Ad During The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

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