June 4, 2002







photo by Dan Krauss/Getty Images

Webvan, one of the largest dot-com companies, went bankrupt in July 2001.

The dot-coms took the ads with them...

The Knight Ridder Co., the nation's second-largest newspaper group, announced a 16 percent decline in its operating profit, another casualty of the advertising malaise.

The company generated advertising revenue worth $520 million in the first quarter this year, 9 percent lower than the $573.2 million last year.

It didn't help that the San Jose Mercury News' advertising revenue dropped by more than a quarter, largely due to the meltdown of in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley.

...and media jobs, too

Yet effective cost control measures helped the company earn $51.8 million in the first quarter this year, up from last year's $40.7 million. That translates into 60 cents per share, versus the 47 cents per share last year. Criticized for resorting to layoffs, Knight Ridder Co. is just one of the names in a very long list of media companies that have trimmed their workforce in the past year, according to the Columbia Journalism Review's media layoffs tracker (journalismjobs.com).

In October 2001, companies like Reuters, Conde Nast Publications, Playboy, the Orange County Register, Time Inc. and TV company Belo listed layoffs along with 24 other organizations.

In April, the list was considerably shorter, with only seven names. In a similar vein, the Dow Jones Publishing index graph has been moving upward since the deep dip in October. But the broadcast index graph has not shown the same progress: it's on a downward roll.

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