Sam Zell

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Only book publishing may have a worse business model than print journalism. It’s been a bad month for newspapers. * As well as 200 staffers being let go at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, news of the week included Le Monde in Paris axing 130, and the probable demise of the Journal Register Co. in New Haven, Conn.—which was summarily wiped off the New York Stock Exchange yesterday because of its “abnormally low” stock price. * Newspaper shares are in the tank. At the end of this story you will find stock charts of the seven largest publishing conglomerates, which are not pretty. *

This past weekend, my friend David Ehrlich, a world-class violinist and teacher, came through Philadelphia to rehearse for a string quartet performance outside Boston next week and he stayed with us, as he always does. David is the Outreach Fellow in Fine Arts at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. When the massacre happened last week, my thoughts were very much with him and his wife, Teresa, a superb pianist. But I decided not to call or e-mail; I figured they had enough going on without one more intrusion. While he was here, we talked some about the horrific event and the aftermath and then

The massive leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company by Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell—the 65th richest man in America according to Forbes, with a personal fortune of $4.5 billion—is in the beginning stages. My bet is that it will result in a tsunami of layoffs, buyouts, firings, and wrecked careers and lives. According to the Jan. 25, 2007 Newstrack, the media industry slashed 17,809 jobs in 2006, an 88% increase over the 9,452 jobs lost the prior year. Last year, we watched The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News fall into the hands of a local consortium of investors that has neither newspaper experience

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