Cuts, closures and tumbling stock prices

Media companies are certainly not immune to the current economic crisis. As the economy implodes, media stocks, inlcuding TorStar and Canwest, are tanking. And along with the big, corporate problems are staff cuts and closures all across Canada. The National Post discontinued its weekend Toronto magazine section as Canwest stock tumbles and analysts say the company’s stock “isn’t worth the risk.”

Meanwhile, the little guys struggle even more. Woodstock, N.B. upstart weekly the Carleton Free Press is shutting down about a year after launch, citing the economic downturn and monopolistic ownership structures in the province as reasons. Even in the public realm times are tight. The CBC recently chose not to renew contracts for veteran foreign correspondents Patrick Brown and Don Murray.

A recent study found , newspapers and magazines beat out movies, concerts and DVD’s in a list of first items families cut during tough economic times. Internet connections fall last on that list of expenses people are willing to cut and as Deb Jones questions: If online advertising does not collapse, could Internet readership — the shift that has caused so many of our woes — become the proverbial silver lining for journalism?