Though the past year wreaked havoc on the newspaper industry, 28 years ago was a different story. Gannett might have reported a 28.4-percent decline in ad revenue for its third-quarter this year, but on December 16, 1981, another kind of article appeared as a special to the New York Times, buried within the front section on page 21:
The print is small, but the article has this graph:
“Leonard R. Harris, a spokesman for The Times, welcomed the new addition to the ranks of national publications, and added that the willingness of Gannett to undertake the venture was ‘evidence of the increasing strength’ of newspaper circulation and advertising.”
And next to the article is a small blurb from the United Press International announcing the launch of the Washington Times, the paper that just saw its editor resign and three of its top executives fired.
Looks like maybe the way to save newspapers is a time machine.