It was nice while it lasted

Blogger Jeffery Pijanowski notes that in June, only 277 newspaper layoffs were announced. It was the lowest number of monthly layoffs in 2009.

While it provides a glimmer of hope, it was shadowed by the revelation that Gannett Corp. plans to lay off about 1,400 people later this month — more than four times the June total.

C’est le vie.

* Who would even think of starting up a new newspaper right now? OK, maybe GateHouse Media. The company with a reputation of buying into the industry at a bad time is starting the Cape Cod Day in Massachusetts.

GateHouse may have the right idea on focusing on small, community newspapers. But given the current economic climate, the flat advertising market and the fact that Cape Cod already has an established daily, you have to wonder whose Kool Aid Gatehouse execs have been drinking.

* RIP to another “soft parade” venture. Last week The Seattle Courant, a community-focused online news product, closed up shop after a one-year battle.

The Courant’s founder, Keith Vance, explains the main reason he ended the venture was lack of money. It takes a lot of it to create a newsroom that can compete with the established media, and while the intent was noble, the business model was not sufficient.

Maybe Vance could get some tips from the former Rocky Mountain News folks, who may have a combo that will keep them going for a while. The group of investors, ex-RMN staffers and bloggers will launch the Rocky Mountain Independent on Monday, hoping to continue what they tried to do with the site earlier this year (before their financial backers pulled out).

Using the name “Rocky Mountain” in the site’s name is a good way to leverage the old Rocky’s brand into their site … and hopefully without E.W. Scripps getting their corporate knickers in a snit. And … most importantly … it’ll be interesting to see if Denver readers still want their Rocky.


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