Humming along with Count Basie

Count BasieBlogger, consultant and inveterate Twitterer Stowe Boyd says hopes of a newspaper return to better, happier days are but melodic dreams of the Benny Goodman era.

He finds the pessimism in a David Carr piece on the industry in the New York Times not near pessimistic enough.

In that piece, long-time newspaper analyst John Morton says:

“Newspapers have lived through recessions before and come back strong, My worry is that when things do turn around, they will be coming back in an environment that is more competitive than ever because of the Internet, and that after all these cuts, they will have less stature, less product quality and less talent — all of the things that they need to compete.”

Boyd says when (or if) the turn around comes, the audience, or “edglings” as he calls them, will have moved on just as people moved from Big Band to Rock ‘N’ Roll music. He says:

The Big Band era is coming to an end, and while some oldsters are going to keep on listening to Count Basie and Duke Ellington, most of us are moving on to rock and roll. Many of the players will find new gigs, experiment with new musical forms, but some won’t. Some will retire, open bars, or find something else to do.

True enough. But as a person in the newspaper industry,  I think (or hope) you can’t discount the ability of people and corporations to change. Maybe Carr will end up blogging for the Huffington Post. Who knows. It’s also possible that newspapers, like the record companies before them, will be able to make the transition to a catalog that includes both Big Band and Rock. I think there can be such a future.

Either way, it will assuredly be a different world. Give both the Carr piece and Boyd’s reaction a read.