I see clouds over New York news

I’m getting worried about New York becoming undercovered. Yes, the city is lucky to have three daily newspapers but…

* The New York Post will lose its Hollywood subsidy when Murdoch, Inc. splits publishing from entertainment. The paper loses a reported $110 million a year. Murdoch doesn’t need his expensive bully pulpit anymore; he has Twitter and journalists ready to spread his every addled word. It could die.

* The New York Daily News is — according to the Post — in even more mayhem than usual with management dizzy in its swinging door of personnel changes and the company apparently trying to follow the Daily Mail’s example to go celeb, go national, and go online to get mass, cheap traffic. The paper adds nothing to that strategy. Could it be in trouble? And given its current heft, does that matter?

* The New York Times is reducing its New York coverage to focus more on becoming not just the national but an international media entity. I agree with the strategy. But New York coverage suffers.

* The Wall St. Journal’s New York section is minimal and, like the Post, exists mainly for Mr. Murdoch to stick it to The Times. In a rational media enterprise, I can’t imagine it’s long for the world.

* Local TV news isn’t news.

* WNYC is great but the rest of radio isn’t local anymore.

* There are the odd new online ventures — DNAinfo and Gothamist, for example — but I suspect there’s a formula at work there: traffic thus revenue thus profitability stand in inverse proportion to weight of the topics covered.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working with folks who want to improve the state of media in New Jersey, which has long been an underserved market. It’s suddenly hitting me that New York could soon be underserved.

I don’t say that wringing my hands. I see opportunity there. I see a need to understand the current state of coverage of the city and where it could go. And I see a role for the three journalism schools in New York.

First, I think one of the many, many media reporters we have in New York — there, we have no shortage! — could find a good story in the state and fate of the news local industry. I see clouds.

Photo by benben: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nebneb/63440378/