In today’s increasingly difficult media landscape, there aren’t always easy solutions to the challenges publishers face. Earlier this week, Tronc, the newspaper company I lead, made the tough decision to lay off 50 percent of our editorial employees at the venerable New York Daily News, stripping dozens of talented journalists of their livelihoods. While I certainly don’t relish the task of gutting newspaper payrolls, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes it’s necessary to take such actions so that I can have slightly more money than I already have.
The road to success is never straight, and as a publicly traded media company, Tronc is obligated to serve the interests of not only our readers and employees but also—and to a much greater degree—the corporate executives who stand to profit off of them. I’ve always been a strong believer in the value of quality journalism to a democratic society, but I also strongly believe in the value of having lots of money, as it can be exchanged for pleasurable things like cool sneakers and high-quality wines. It’s always a painful decision to whittle down the mastheads of our news assets, but the silver lining is that doing so means that I can stay true to my deeply held belief in obtaining more money than I already have.
It also means that many of my friends get to have more money as well, such as Tronc’s recently departed chairman Michael Ferro, who had to leave our company because people found out about the bad sex stuff he does to women. By making the difficult decision to lay off dozens of Daily News employees, Tronc was able to give Michael a going-away present of $15 million, which was an essential course of action for our business because that’s an awesome amount of money to have.
Of course, the core of our mission at Tronc is, and always has been, to empower good, impactful journalism. The First Amendment is one of the essential pillars of this great nation, and we believe that having a free press is absolutely critical to ensuring that America’s investor-class individuals can keep getting more and more money. Yes, sadly, we must occasionally fire some reporters so that I can get important piles of extra money, but we have the utmost confidence that our remaining employees will always pick up the slack and continue to put out the quality product that will make me sizable profit.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the newspaper business certainly isn’t easy, but neither are most worthwhile pursuits in life, and anyone who says that newsprint is dying has obviously never seen my big and ever-growing bank account. No matter how many jobs we here at Tronc slash, I have no doubt that our skeleton staffs of gifted writers and editors will always figure out a way to produce meaningful journalism and make me richer.
Diligent, unflinching journalism is more important now than ever before, and Tronc is deeply committed to fostering an environment in which that kind of indispensable reportage can flourish or be arbitrarily liquidated and sold off to the highest bidder for my own immense personal enrichment, whichever I feel is more important at any given moment. We may have a rocky road ahead of us, but from where I’m sitting, the future of journalism in America looks very bright.