The attached link from Forbes is a good look at a big newspaper in survival mode.

The ultimate goal is to get the cost structure of the company in line with the revenue. It can feel like chasing a runaway sled down an icy slope: you can’t keep your footing and the sled just keeps gaining speed.

There can be a linear sequence around reducing costs and it needs to start with the consumers and the product. The challenging thing for media companies today is creating the mental space to ask, How much does this revenue base allow us to spend on product, and what kind of product can we create for this kind of money that will be useful and resonant with consumers?

clipped from

McClatchy Aims To Have The Last Newspapers Standing
The 18% drop in McClatchy’s ad sales last year was just a warm-up for the first quarter of 2009, when total revenue fell 25% and ad sales dipped nearly 30%.

Pruitt has rolled out a two-phase survival strategy. First, slashing costs: He has eliminated 4,000 jobs since last June (about one-third of his workforce), squeezed savings by ending the company’s 401(k) match for employees, cut dividends on its stock, canceled bonuses and shrunk executive pay.

Second, Pruitt has proposed a colossal debt forgiveness program to unsecured lenders, offering to pay bondholders a mere 20 cents on the dollar for the $1.1 billion they are owed. If they turn down the offer, these creditors will find themselves last in line should McClatchy file for bankruptcy protection–no idle threat, given that seven newspaper companies have filed for bankruptcy in the last five months.