Monday, January 5, 2009

Strong, stable middle class will help state, newspapers

Chris Powell writes:

Bristol and New Britain lawmakers have asked state economic development officials to facilitate the purchase of the daily newspapers in those cities, the Bristol Press and New Britain Herald.

The Journal Register Co., current owner, plans to close them soon if buyers can’t be found. Tax breaks might be available.

While this is how government usually responds to troubled businesses, tax breaks make a big difference only to the largest and most capital-intensive operations — not to newspapers. Taxes have been choking Connecticut since 1991, but they are not choking newspapers particularly.

No, newspapers are being choked by the recession — declining advertising revenue — and, perhaps just as much, by declining demographics.

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