How’s this for a doom-laden sentence from the website 24/7 Wall St?

No one working in the media industry will ever have seen a year as bad as 2009 will be.

The article goes on to list the 12 major media brands likely to close this year. Here’s a list of some of the iconic publications that are already on the block, looking shaky or need to seriously downsize as they continue to haemorrhage advertising:

  • The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Rocky Mountain News
  • Playboy
  • The New York Observer
  • Rolling Stone
  • The San Francisco Chronicle
  • Entertainment Weekly

So what about back home? One glance at yesterday’s ANZ job figures suggests the media, across the spectrum, is in for a very rough year. Last month’s count of newspaper ads was down 52% compared with the same month in 2007; internet ads were down 28%. Newspaper job ad growth was the weakest it had been since December 1982, including the 1991 recession, and internet job ads suffered their biggest fall since the survey began in 1998. 2009’s unprecedented challenges will require media companies to break the mould, get creative, share content and embrace innovation just to stay afloat.

If you work in media, or consume media, or care about media, you should buckle up your seatbelts real tight. There has never been a ride like the one that has just started.

Peter Fray

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