The American Press Institute's exclusive "crisis summit" concluded Thursday, establishing that the print news industry is in the "phase" of a crisis right before dissolution, Editor and Publisher reports.
James Shein, a "turnaround specialist" and professor at Northwestern University, explained that newspapers are "blinded," and the biggest issue facing the industry's progress is senior leadership.
"I'm not sure you can look at your industry with fresh eyes," he said to participants, who included CEO's from nearly every major publisher, including George Irish, president of Hearst Newspapers, and Mark Contreas, senior vice president of newspapers at E.W. Scripps.
The closed-door meeting of CEO's was "part group therapy" and "part business-school class," with participants sitting in on "three segments on financial forensics, management tactics for new strategies and best practice swaps."
The summit concluded that cutting staff doesn't reduce costs fast enough to save the industry, and "erodes" the product in the process, according to Steve Miller, executive chairman of auto-parts maker Delphi Corp who spoke at the conference.
Miller and Shein made several recommendations for the group, including collaboration with outside entities, "leveraging the brand," and being proactive in averting a collapse of the industry.
Although it may seem that the summit did little more than establishing that there is a "crisis," the API stated that the newspaper industry will probably need "outside help" to halt the slide.
Source: Editor and Publisher