21 June 2016

This Reminds Me of the Railroad Industry

I worked at GE Transportation System in the early 1990s aas a locomotive systems engineer.

After years of contraction and decay, they were recapitalizing.

Standard line was that they had gotten to the point where they had to recapitalize, but it was something more basic: The Wall Street types who believed that railroads were dying had finally looted all they could, and they had been replaced by management that actually believed in railroads.

Freight rail in the Us has been on a generally upward path since.

Well, we are seeing the same thing in the newspaper business these days, with the jargon of the official launch of Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing being a particularly egregious example.

As Allison Hantschel observes, "Media Companies Hate News, the Internet, Employees and their Own Customers:
Or, as the Hip Happening Kids Today call it, #Tronc:
CasSelle: We produce tons of great content every single day. We’re really focused on how we we deliver it to people in a way they want to consume it more and more. 

Vasquez: One of the key ways we’re going to harness the power of our journalism is to have an optimization group. This Tronc team, will work with all of the local markets, to harness the power of our local journalism, feed it into a funnel, and then optimize it so we reach the biggest global audience possible.

Yes, Tronc shall take the corn feed of journalism and funnel it into the optimization-group goose, to make delicious foie gras that will be consumed by the digital natives.

It arguably gets worse from there. And what’s genuinely sad is that people who talk like this typically don’t understand how the internet actually works—that’s why they lean on buzzwords—or have any notion of how to communicate with journalists, who tend to bristle at this stuff.
These are internal employee videos designed to PUMP YOU UP about your newfound place not at Tribune Publishing, a recognizable name that at least still sounded impressive, but at Tronc, which sounds like you stepped on a duck.
I understand that conventional journalism in general, and the newspaper business in particular, faces challenges, but the bigger problem is that upper management does not believe in the product: Journalism.  (Of course, there is also the fact that Sam Zell ran the company into the ground).

Our MBA/Wall Street/Private Equity management "Culture" does nothing but loot.


Post a Comment