I really want to just tell you about this utterly strange business decision in the Seattle Times. But I thought it might be more instructive -- and more fun? -- to ask what you would do in their situation so that you can appreciate the severity of their challenge ... and the eccentricity of their decision.
YOU ARE: a media company executive. You own the Seattle Times. Profits are endangered. Ad dollars are down. Political ad revenue is down, especially. Your job is to find a solution.
FIRST: Consider some obvious possibilities. You can hire more sales people to pitch advertisers, including political campaigns. You can ask your current sales team to try harder, target smarter, pitch pithier, innovate! You can pinch pennies and layoff expensive editors, cut your travel and reimbursement budget, stop publishing on certain days, shrink your circulation, that kind of stuff.
SECOND: Consider some slightly less obvious options. You can invest in a new section that concentrates on the software revolution to attract targeted advertising for a Seattle audience. You can supplement revenue with new business divisions that you think could be profitable in a year or so, like an events arm or an annual conference.