What will happen to Pharmalot?
There is no question that Pharmalot is one of the great pharma blogs out there, for those of us who are interesting in getting up-to-date pharma news every day.
The question is how long this will continue, and for those of you who agree with me (liking Pharmalot) now is the time to show your support and tell the paper that owns Pharmalot how much you love the site. Easiest may be to write to Ed@Pharmalot.com and he can forward your admiring notes.
Here are the somber news reported by the Star-Ledger, which owns Pharmalot:
The owners of The Star-Ledger announced today they will sell the newspaper if they cannot win union concessions and persuade a large number of non-union, full-time workers to take buyouts in the next two months.
The owners set a deadline of Oct. 1 for getting 200 of the paper's 756 non-union full-time employees to take a buyout and for achieving the union concessions. The paper's total workforce is 1,412.
The offer comes at a time when the newspaper industry is reeling from plunging advertising revenues linked to a troubled economy and the growth of online media.
The news was announced to grim-faced employees by Publisher George E. Arwady at the paper's headquarters in Newark this morning. He characterized the paper as being "on life support" and urged employees to consider the offer for the good of fellow employees.
"Despite the best efforts of all of us, The Star-Ledger is losing a battle to survive," Arwady said, noting the paper has suffered heavy losses the past two years. "If the Ledger is to have a future, it must make further changes in how it operates."
The Star-Ledger is New Jersey's largest newspaper -- selling roughly 350,000 papers daily and 520,000 on Sunday -- and in recent years has won two Pulitzer prizes and numerous other national awards. But like others in the industry, the paper has been buffeted by losses. Hiring and wage freezes have been in place for years, and the paper has tried other cost-saving measures, including consolidating news and feature sections and closing one of two printing plants.