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Last Update: Aug 22nd, 2012
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New Times on Life Support

Lee Klein, long time food critic for Miami New Times, has been laid off, completing a financial purge of talent at the Newspaper, at least as far as food coverage is concerned. When Broward New Times editor Eric Barton was let go on June 20, it marked the beginning of the end for the Broward Palm Beach edition. Consolidating offices is always a bad sign for employees, usually a first step in more drastic steps to come.

But the removal of Lee Klein points to a much deeper problem. My initial thought was that they'd focus on Miami and somehow try to cover Fort Lauderdale on the blog, eventually folding the Broward Palm Beach print newspaper. But without Klein, they lack a single credible food writer. You can't run a paper with a bunch of low budget bloggers.

Editor Chuck Strouse indicated in a blog post that Laine Doss has been hired full time to head up the online efforts of their Food Coverage; the problem is that Laine Doss had zero food experience before 2010 according to a Sept 2009 resume she sent here; and she felt that her left wing blog, LIberal Wonk, was worthy of mention on her cover letter. But more that that, her posts indicate that she has either has no understanding of how to attract quality readers for advertisers or she purposely writes about national issues (such as Chick Fil A or Politics) to attract garbage page hits which rip off advertisers by pulling in search engine hits from people who will never visit South Florida.

The rest of the staff is so weak that I can't see how they expect to garner any sort of readership. Their articles are random, they often just parrot the embellishments put forth by PR companies, and offer no insight or recommendations that you can trust.

Alexa reports that more than 35% of the traffic to browardpalmbeach.com is from outside of the United States; if you wonder why they use terms like "Food Porn" and write about celebrities, the reason is to attract "junk" page hits from around the world.

Print advertising is only viewed by local people; it's unlikely that someone in India is going to pick up a local copy of a newspaper. But digital is a lot more complicated, and New Times doesn't have a disciplined strategy to create a primarily local audience. You can only fool advertisers for so long; eventually they figure out that they're not getting their money's worth, and then you're out of business.

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The Gourmet Realtor
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Agreed, and if you look at the number of comments that have slowly trickled down to zero you will clearly see that the readers just dont really care about the subject matter, including myself, as I often find their reviews biased based upon advertising, and the content reporting on events to be well rather "Salty"...Once upon a time New Times had its day, I think perhaps that day has come and went....
Terri
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Most of the comments were probably by other New Times employees who have now been fired.

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