The Incredibly Shrinking Newsroom

Strategically Speaking: A Blog by Denha Media Group

It is a decade-old saga that continues here in Metro Detroit — the incredibly shrinking newsroom. Three Detroit television reporters are just the latest causalities in the downsizing trend we have seen in news over the last decade. Soon to be off the air are Murray Feldman, Jason Carr and Lee Thomas; they are all leaving FOX 2 News, and it doesn’t appear to be a personal decision.

Contracts are up and they won’t be renewed, according to reports.

Feldman is FOX 2’s “money man.” He’s been reporting and anchoring at the station for 40 years. That’s longer than anyone currently on Detroit TV. Feldman anchors the 5:30pm news with Sherry Margolis. He also has his popular “Job Shop” and “Money Minute” segments.

The popular morning show “The Nine” will experience an overhaul once Carr and Thomas both feature and entertainment reporters —  vacate those anchor chairs.

This is not just about three known TV personalities being let go, it is reflective of what has happened with media today.  As content creators and communication strategists, we have helped clients build their own media platforms as a necessity to tell their stories.  As media changes, so does the entire communications industry including public relations professionals and media consultants.

The work of a media relations person has become more challenging as the newsroom shrinks in size and the resources for existing staff diminish.  You have to find your own voice in this noisy world and somehow be heard.

Websites, blogs, YouTube and social media sites have changed the landscape so that now businesses, thought leaders, organizations and institutes have a means to tell their stories and share their news. In this industry, it is about being strategic and purposeful.  Long gone are the days of writing a press release, sending it out on the wires and getting coverage.

It is not good enough to just have these platforms, you have to know how and when to use them — something journalist do well.  There is a reason people pursue degrees in this field and when you have 30 plus years of experience like Feldman, the knowledge is invaluable.

As the news industry continues to evolve into a smaller giant, we are challenged to get creative in the way we deliver our messages. We once spent most of our time building relationships with members of the media and now we have to spend our energy creating credibility in the media outlets our clients have established.  We cannot depend on the local and national news to share our news, we must share it ourselves – because as the newsrooms shrink, there is a growing challenge, for those who have a story to tell, in finding a way to tell it.

We are part of a long-time drama of the incredible shrinking newsroom, we are pressed to find the formula to fix the problem and grow in the industry once again.

Vanessa Denha Garmo is founder of Denha Media Group

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