Eighteen months ago, 24/7 Wall Street put ten of America’s top 50 newspapers on deathwatch, giving them eighteen months to live.
It seemed likely at the time that some of these papers would fold or go digital: the Minneapolis Star Tribune was going through a messy bankruptcy; the Boston Globe was being threatened with huge cutbacks from parent company The New York Times Co., and so on.
But so far, the dire predictions haven’t come true. Instead, we’ve lost the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. And the Rocky Mountain News and Seattle P-I, all newspapers in two-paper towns that couldn’t support more than one.
There’s still four more months to go before the eighteen-month deathwatch expires, but most seem to have received stays of execution: the Strib emerged from bankruptcy; NYTco backed down on its harshest concessions from the Globe, and Hearst decided not to close the Chronicle, despite an ultimatum that it would.