The Atlantic

How to Survive the Media Apocalypse

Pivot to readers.
Source: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Agony is the natural state of the news industry. Newspaper sales per capita peaked before color television was a thing, and magazines have been in decline since the Clinton administration. When it comes to the finances of the Fourth Estate, bad news is, generally speaking, the news.

But 2017 has been a uniquely miserable year in the media business, in which venerable publications and fledging sites, divided by audience age and editorial style, have been united in misery. At , the editorial budget faces . At , advertising revenue is annually after nine months. Oath, the offspring of Yahoo and AOL’s union, is shedding as it strains to fit inside of its Verizon conglomerate. Meanwhile, almost every digital publisher seems to be struggling, selling, or soliciting, whether it’s the media company IAC exploring offers to offload , Fusion Media Group offering a minority stake in and former Gawker Media sites, or Mashable selling for a fifth of its former valuation. So many media companies in 2017 have reoriented their budgets around the

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