|April 21, 2009|
|Cutting 'City' Section is Bad Idea of New York Times|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|The New York Times is cutting sections of the paper to cut costs. It was announced last week that the Friday “Escapes” section is being put to bed. That makes great sense since many NYT readers are more concerned about escaping creditors rather than splurging for a vacation home on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast, which was a Page 1 story April 17. |
The Costa Rica masterpiece was a tough slog, especially when writer Perry Garfinkel reports “vacation home sales have been reduced to a ripple.” The Times helpfully informed Escapes fans they could opt to nestle into a gated community—though there was no word about moats to ensure locals are kept out.
A gated community fan noted: “These development owners spend many millions on infrastructure—water, roads, electricity, permits, which in a third world country like this can be a time- and money-consuming process.”
This blogger doesn’t bemoan the loss of Escapes and its condescending tone. Escapes was launched to capture the weekend jaunt market. There are far fewer jaunters around these hard days.
The upcoming loss of the Sunday “City” section, which had a skimpy eight pages yesterday, is a blow to readers. City does a good job in covering NYC neighborhoods outside the gilded island of Manhattan and hipster places like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Dumbo.
NYT management should rethink cutting City. Isn’t hyper-local news coverage part of the industry’s survival plan?
The Times does promise to incorporate local news into its general coverage and put out “zoned” sections. That promise was made before, when the weekday standalone “Metropolitan” section was dropped.
NYC coverage is diminished with the loss of the Metro.
The NYT says it needs to save money. How about cutting the Sunday auto or travel section? Each had 12 pages on April 19. How about merging “Real Estate” with the quickly vanishing “Classified” section? The Times could really do a service by getting rid of the “Styles” section, a celebration of snark and out-of-control consumption. Snark and consumption have surely hit the road in these more serious and lean times.
Save the City. Cut Style.
(Image via Flickr)
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