Holy crap, who would have thought the real world (you know the one of falling newspaper circulations and no ad revenue) would have entered the Pravda of Japan, the Daily Yomiuri. Well, the hard times have unofficially hit. Here's what Our Man knows:
1. The boss has been told to trim staff by 25%
2. The paper will be going to one edition in April from the current four.
3. About 10 Yomiuri staff will be shifted out to other parts of the company and 10 contract employees have volunteered to quit.
4. The latest ABC figures for the Daily Yomiuri are down 4,500 to 30,093, probably due to airlines stopping taking the paper for free (if you can't even give it away, what does that tell you about the future of papers?)
5. With only a handful of foreigners left to mop up, Our Man can't wait to see the quality of the writing this April.
6. The poor deluded folk at the Japan Times seem to think there will be a bump in their circulation, and maybe there will be. But, since the Times' ABC figures were down 2,000 to 33,814, the smart money has to be on short-term outlook: brief respite, long-term: YOU IS TOAST.
On a personal note, Our Man has to say he's sorry for the good journos who staff the place, and would heartily advise those left to TAKE THE MONEY WHILE THEY STILL HAVE SOME.
And to all those who find themselves on the other side of the newspaper fold, Our Man can assure you life goes on and is even better than you can possibly imagine, just apply the skills you have learnt to something that pays better (Lord knows that ain't blogging).
Or else, you'll be stuck with this lot - the new Japan Times in-crowd - as the only way to pay the rent. Unless you have the keys to the fancy dress cupboard, you may want to consider a new career.
Pic shows old-school journo looking for jobs in the classifieds. Remember them? (Classifieds or jobs? - ed.)