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  • I'm CEO of Newspeg.com, a social news-sharing platform. I've spent 20 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies. You can read more about me here.

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December 19, 2008

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Working Reporter

"Stanton said the Times' Web site revenue now exceeds its editorial payroll costs."

Does that mean the Web site is covering the PAPER's editorial payroll costs? Or is it just covering the editorial costs for the Web site? Many papers still maintain two distinct staffs; I don't know if that's the case at the LA Times.

If the former, that's good, unexpected and exciting news. If the latter, it's almost irrelevant, since the great bulk of the content is presumably created by the paper's staff, not the (usually tiny) Web site's staff.

Any ideas which it is?

Mark Potts

The implication was that it's the print editorial costs that are being covered. The online editorial costs were probably covered years ago; that's a much smaller staff.

Working Reporter

Well, if that's true, great. The way it's worded ("its payroll costs") would refer to the Web site, but perhaps Annenberg just needs a copy editor.

tgdavidson

Working Reporter:

Most newspaper web sites hit profitability years ago - not just covering their payroll costs, but technology, marketing, you name it. Many produce margins that could make a hooker blush. Of course, some costs are buried inside the parent organization, but net net, digital operations are a potent, and increasingly important, economic force at most shops.

GAReporter

Stanton, Jarvis and everyone else should stop with the victory laps. If online revenue, which by the way isn't looking good in this economy, indeed matches payroll it's because so many bodies have been hacked. I'm sure Sam Zell's bankers will be high fiving themselves as they wait in line in bankruptcy court hoping there's something left over for them. This is a financial disaster of Zell's making that totals more than $10 billion. Online revenue that is, at the very best, $100 million isn't the salvation.

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