Singleton sees silver linings in the grey clouds dumping on the newspaper industry. He's especially sanguine about the San Jose Mercucy News, which he says will bounce back once the economy turns around. Nevertheless, the story paints an appropriately grim picture of the state of things:
Already known for squeezing costs as hard as anyone in the industry, Mr. Singleton and his team have cut spending at a furious pace, trying to keep pace with tumbling revenue. His detractors among analysts and journalists concede that in this market, any owner would have to make deep cuts. But they say that he was already inclined to a slash-and-burn approach that is little more than a prescription for having the papers do steadily less, and do it less well.I don't know anyone who works for Singleton who doesn't worry about more cuts, whether it be layoffs or the elimination of home delivery service on certain days.
“There’s no newspaper in the country that I know of that’s not suffering,” said John McManus, a journalism professor at San Jose State University. “But Dean Singleton has hollowed out The Mercury News.”
Dave Butler, the executive editor, acknowledged that the paper no longer had the ambitions it once did. Now, he said, “we’re protecting the core mission, which is good, hard local news and information.”