Friday, November 14, 2008

Busted flat in Reston

The American Press Institute has published a staff summary of Thursday's CEO conference, "CEO Summit on Saving an Industry in Crisis." The last two paragraphs, under the subhead "Next steps," kind of sums up the industry's whole problem:
Participants agreed to reconvene in six months, and to explore additional collaboration. Some spoke of joint investment in research and development of both technologies and products, others of more formal means of sharing information.

"Why can't we be the disruptors?" asked one. "We have nothing to lose."
Six months? What are they thinking? They've laid off more than 10,000 people in the last six months—what will be left six months from now? They need to launch a Manhattan project to blow up their industry and start over. Now, not six months from now.

"We have nothing to lose" is about right, but they may have nothing left to invest in change, either.


Tim Windsor said...

You're right - six months is an eternity. Forget how many of their staff will be gone - how many of the 50 participants at the API Summit will be gone in six months?

This comment from the summary, though, drove me 'round the bend and made me put a bounty on the outing of this visionary:

One participant expressed the lone view that the crisis was cyclical, not structural, and that hefty cost-cutting is all that is required to tide companies over until there is recovery.

More here.

Hey API participants: there's a fifty in your future if you cough up a verifiable name!


Anonymous said...

This downturn is *not* cyclical. It IS structural. The monopoly newspapers and TV had on dissemination of the news is gone gone gone.

Anonymous said...

The 'cyclical' position is the one recently espoused by Gannett CEO Craig Dubow on a conference call with analysts and financial journalists. See here:

You almost feel sorry for the man.

newshare said...

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is kicking off The Information Valet Project with a convening Dec. 3-5 in Columbia, Mo. It's just the sort of blow-up-the-industry solution that's need -- a complete change of perspective away from a focus on a product -- the newspaper -- and to a new relationship with users. For more information see: