One Year Until The Newspapers Start Disappearing

More sunny economic news for the newspaper industry: yesterday the financial ratings firm Fitch put out a report predicting that "several cities could go without a daily print newspaper by 2010." Oh joy! You won't have to complain about your shitty local fish wrapper much longer, if you live in "some cities" (*NEWARK*, ahem). This would really be a serious change in American civic life, people. Crooked city councilmen and religious nut school board members are bound to run wild without any reporters telling people what they're up to. Well, buck up, doomed papers in "some cities"—every other newspaper will have a hellish year, too:

Fitch rates the debt of two newspaper companies, The McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co. as junk, with serious possibilities of default. It also assigns a negative outlook to both the companies and the newspaper sector, meaning their credit ratings are likely to deteriorate further...

Five of the top 10 ad categories, accounting for more than 40% of ad spend will be down, Fitch predicts: retail; automotive; financial services; general services; and airlines, hotels and car rentals.

Not general services! [E&P]