Another day, another newspaper bankruptcy. This time it was the Journal Register national chain, home to eighteen small dailies including the New Haven Register, and now operating under the seemingly sexier-sounding name of Digital First Media. That rechristening had been trumpeted as more than mere window-dressing—Digital First Media’s senior executives publicly embraced the Internet as the future of journalism, boasting of not only their "digital DNA," but also their determination to “stop listening to newspaper people” and their stuck-in-the-past, ink-stained thinking. Don’t panic over vanishing print ad revenue, Digital First chief executive John Paton insisted last September: If you stack them high enough, “Digital dimes can replace Print [...]
The panel discussion was defiantly titled “Flying The Indie Flag” and the mood was clearly intended to be triumphant. “Indie labels are having a banner year,” crowed the panel’s organizers at last week’s South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and are “being successful by doing it their way, in a world where major labels no longer control the music business landscape.” Yet the faces on the actual indie label panelists looked anything but victorious.
Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman—still earning sizable royalties for his initial signing of Nirvana over two decades ago—scowled his way through a series of accolades delivered for him. And Mac McCaughan, frontman [...]