Tucson has not been exempt. Rumors are running rampant that the Arizona Daily Star is asking reporters to work fewer hours in an effort to cut costs; several weeks ago, the morning daily's reader advocate announced a handful of cost-saving measures, such as moving the Sunday opinion pages inside the A section, and moving books coverage to the less-read Thursday paper.
Most of these cuts--although not necessarily all of them--are typical of the dumb-ass greed of today's newspaper companies. It happens all the time: A newspaper has an off quarter or year, profits-wise (they're still profitable, mind you, just not as profitable as shareholders or managers want); management responds by cutting staff and resources to keep profits high; the paper's quality invariably suffers without the resources it had before; readers/advertisers notice this and stop reading or buying ads; a newspaper has another off quarter or year, profits-wise; repeat cycle.
This is slightly oversimplifying, yes, but the fact is that greed--not Craigslist or the Internet or these young whippersnappers today who have short attention spans--will kill off most newspapers as we know them by 2020.
It's sad. I just hope newspaper shareholders and owners get their heads out of their asses and realize that innovation and reinvestment, not insane budget cuts, are the keys to the future. I am not optimistic.