Dean Singleton, the biggest owner of newspapers in the L.A. area, has sent his employees an eight-page status report on the health of the industry that is both upbeat and somewhat threatening if you want to keep your job. It alludes to (without mentioning specifically) the coming sharing of "common pages" between the Daily News, Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram, recounts an exchange with Russian president Putin, and predicts a transformation in revenue at MediaNews:
In operating cash flow, we currently generate 73% from core [essentially the print side], 22% from online and 5% from niche products...In operating cash flow, our goal in 2012 is 40% from core, 50% from online and 10% from niche. That would be a great business, one that investors would applaud. How realistic is this? Quite so, we believe.
Daily News Editor Ron Kaye emailed his newsroom with an upbeat reaction:
Dean Singleton, MediaNews president Jody Lodovic and COO Steve Rossi have sent out this eight-page analysis of our industry and our company and given us a strategy to move forward successfully.
I personally find it extremely encouraging. It is an important statement on where we are and where we must go to survive these difficult times and thrive in the years ahead. It fully supports the initiatives we're undertaking and the direction we're headed in.
Please read it through and forward it to everyone you work with in your departments. We all need to be aboard as change is occurring rapidly. We need to take advantage of the permission that's implicit in this articulation of the company's strategy.
I'd like to hold a staff meeting sometime next week in advance of our carrying out the significant changes we are making to the news and business sections at the end of the month. So please advise me on what is a good date and time so we can talk as a group about this opportunity.
Singleton memo is attached as a text file.