November 3, 2016 Last Updated 8:40 am

Editors get to show off their creative side thanks to an epic Game Seven; UK High Court complicates Brexit strategy

Morning Brief: Much of the US population has no problem cheering the death of the newspaper industry, yet some publishers continue to bet their futures on luring those readers

You’ll forgive me if I seem a little groggy this morning. The guy next door was shooting off fireworks until 3 am last night. Usually on Independence Day the booms and crashes would be over by midnight, last night was when they began.

I’m not a Chicago Cubs fan. This year was supposed to the Giants year – that whole even numbered year thing. Oh well. And it’s not like Cub fans haven’t waited long enough. But as a baseball fan, have you ever seen a game like that where the manager screwed so much up, and still came out on top? Dusty Baker and John McNamera have to be wondering how Madden got to so lucky?

The great thing about a great Game Seven, of course, are the front pages the next morning. I think editors in Illinois and Ohio had ideas for clever front pages assuming their teams won the game in a normal fashion. But last night’s game, with its twists and turns, and even rain delay, probably messed up those plans. Still, I think these are pretty good, and in some ways, I think those that had to deal with defeat may be the best. Baseball, as they say, is really all about defeat.


Last night was a please respite from politics. Oh, if only it could have lasted even longer. But it couldn’t, and this morning we are right back where we started, with the most divisive, consequential election of our lifetimes.

Of course, in the UK, they thought they had already had the most consequential election of their lifetimes. Turns out their saga is not only just beginning, but technically hasn’t even started yet, thanks to a ruling by the UK high court.

The Telegraph:

Prospect of an early general election increases after High Court rules Government cannot trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval

The High Court has ruled that the Government does not have power to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval and a vote from MPs.

Campaigners have won their battle over Theresa May’s decision to use the royal prerogative in her Brexit strategy to start the process of leaving the European Union.

The government have said they will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court. A spokesperson confirmed: “We will appeal this judgment.”

The Guardian:

High court Brexit ruling: what does it all mean?

Can this stop Brexit? Almost certainly not. But it does make the position much more confused. MPs are talking of the high court triggering a constitutional crisis without any indication of how to get out of it.

It also risks driving an even bigger wedge between leavers and remainers, particularly since the leavers are likely to interpret this as one more desperate attempt by the Metropolitan liberal elite to thwart the will of the people (a suspicion that is going to shape the thinking of a lot of MPs).

There was so much news in the US newspaper industry yesterday that it was hard to keep track of it all. But something really cracked in the fabric of the industry yesterday that I really think newspaper people around the country (and the world) need to think about. The WSJ announced that it would trim its sections and make staff cuts – and readers, if judging by the comments, were cheering on the woes of the paper.

Sure, these were not real WSJ readers, if you define them by being paid subscribers. But papers around the country are trying to build their audiences by attracting more digital readers, readers who regularly complain that the press is biased against the right, Donald Trump, Nazis and KKK members. These are the readers newspaper publishers are betting their futures on, and they love it when they hear that a newspaper is having financial trouble.

It is hard for me to see how any industry can implement a successful business strategy of going after customers that say they want their product to die. Or am I missing something?


On The Upside, At Least This Election Will Destroy The Media

With the clock ticking toward Election Day, the mainstream media seems intent on committing ritual suicide by eviscerating the tattered remnants of its credibility. See, there’s some good news out there if you just look for it.

At this writing, it still looks like Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit will convince enough morons to vote for her to defeat Donald Trump, but who the hell knows? The polls are tightening, my book remains eerily prescient, and in Hades they are getting out the mittens. So what’s next from our disgraced media drones as they face the possible repudiation of every libfascist thing they believe in? More covering up, to be sure…

…Regardless, welcome to the countdown to the final doom of the media as we know and hate it.

Breitbart News:

Trump Slams Media in Miami — Crowd Chants ‘CNN Sucks!’

Trump called integrity in journalism an important issue, but then denounced the media as “dishonest” and cited a New York Post piece by Michael Goodwin.

“Another important issue for Americans his integrity in journalism,” Trump said. “These people are among the most dishonest people I have ever met, spoken to, done business with. These are the most dishonest people. There has never been dishonesty – there has never been dishonesty like we have seen in this election. There has never been anywhere near the media dishonesty like we have seen in this election. Don’t worry, they won’t spin the cameras to show the massive crowds. They won’t do that. The very talented Michael Goodwin of the New York Post just wrote today that 2016 presidential race will mark the low watermark of journalism that is worthy, if you think of it, of the First Amendment. Never before have so many media organizations, old and new, abandoned all pretense of fairness to take sides and try to pick a president. It is unbelievable. Honestly. for instance, a great story given out to the media they’ll make it look as bad as possible – as bad possible.

Trump remarks led the crowd to break out into a chant of “CNN sucks,” to which Trump responded by pointing out the dismal earnings figures for The New York Times.

A couple of years ago I remember hearing a few British colleagues boasting that they were not seeing the same deterioration of conditions for newspaper and magazine publishers that we here in the States were seeing. Things seemed far more rosy overseas. My response was to remind them that just as California is often the place where trends start, the US is that way on a national scale. You might not be seeing industry troubles right now, but wait.

Wait no longer. In fact, we needn’t look too far afield. Canada is clearly seeing what we have seen here. Yesterday Torstar, the owner of the Toronto Star released a very concerning earnings report. Before that Postmedia Network’s report was not very encouraging. And today we hear of layoffs at Quebecor.


Quebecor’s media unit to cut 220 jobs, stop printing 2 magazines

chezsoi-coverQuebecor Media Group says it is eliminating 220 jobs, or eight per cent of its total workforce, as the company cuts operating costs.

The majority of the job cuts will affect managers, professional and administrative support staff. The Montreal-based newspaper and magazine publisher says 125 of the positions will be at its subsidiary, TVA Group, which operate a number of titles such as Canadian Living, Style at Home and Canadian Gardening.

It will also discontinue two magazines — CHEZ SOI and Tellement bon.

Quebecor says the cuts will help it focus on its flagship brands.

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