5 media brands that hit the skids

1 Tribune Company
Supercapitalist Sam Zell scooped up the troubled entity earlier this year in a multibillion-dollar deal. But his optimism can't change its harsh financial outlook nor the new financial burden placed on its unhappy employees.

2 CBS News
The year was marred by embarrassing missteps like a "blog post" by news anchor Katie Couric that her staff actually wrote. It was hoped her arrival would revive the network after the debacle that ended Dan Rather's career. Instead, ratings fell further and the future looks bleak.

3 US News & World Report
Already a distant third in the newsweeklies race, it took a hit to its reputation this year as well, when a group of colleges challenged its popular annual rankings system, calling it "misleading" to prospective students.

4 The Philadelphia Inquirer
PR man Brian Tierney promised snazzy new marketing and promotions to help the flailing paper. But initial enthusiasm for Tierney has waned as he tossed out bad ideas like turning the paper's headquarters into a movie billboard and allowing a local bank to sponsor a news column.

5 The New Republic
The refined DC thought magazine had an unquestionably bad year. Business woes forced it to cut its total of yearly issues nearly in half. And a scandal over whether an anonymous soldier writing tales from Iraq was in fact lying, led many to question its competency in both journalism and communications.

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