The front page of Drudge currently screams with a headline that links to an article with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging Attorney General Eric Holder to allow more consolidation in the newspaper industry in order to save it.
The irony is this comes on the same day the N&O here in Raleigh announced it was laying off 11 percent of its staff and issuing wage reductions to all employees making more than $25,000.
Here's the rub, the N&O by itself, is profitable. Like many other local papers, it is making money. It's the national conglomeration, McClatchy, which owns the N&O and Charlotte Observer, among many others, that is hemorrhaging money.
More consolidation is just going to prolong the death of the industry. More consolidation means less localized news, sports and those little human interest stories that endears paper to the community. More consolidation means little Tommy winning the spelling bee isn't going to be in the paper, thus his parents have no need to buy it.
The problems in the newspaper industry are real, and there isn't one quick fix. Its business model and olde guard reluctance to change in the digitial age is accelerating its downfall. But the way to fix the industry is not to have fewer and fewer local papers as Pelosi suggests.