Last month, a list of the ten newspapers that will either fold or go digital from a Web site called 24/7 Wall Street was picked up by Time.com and wound up getting a lot more attention than it probably deserved.
It was easy to quibble with at least half of the picks, especially the New York Daily News, whose demise, author Douglas McIntyre opined, was predicated on the fact that it wasn't owned by a big corporation, and based on the performance of other dailies, could lose $70 million this year.
First off, have you seen the performance of newspaper companies lately, at least those that haven't been delisted by the NYSE and NASDAQ? Not being one is actually a good thing.
Further, McIntyre's extrapolating about the News' finances are a reach, to put it charitably. And if the News was in such dire straits, why would it be spending tens of millions of dollars on new color presses?
Anywhoo, that was then. Now McIntyre is back with another list. This one is devoted to the "Twelve Major Brands That Will Disappear" by the end of 2010. Two come from the media, Esquire and Architectural Digest,
In Esquire's case, it's the 97-pound weakling in a crowded category that's already taken a beating. AD is the grandmama of shelter magazines. But it's way-upscale ambitions are out of step at a time when millions of homes are being foreclosed on and its ad pages -- or lack thereof -- reflect that.
McIntyre's analysis is a bit more spot on this time around. But it's marred throughout by having been pushed out without being proofread. The final entry alone, which basically predicts United Airlines will need a merger partner, has at least 10 spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors. And that's just one of 12 entries.
That's why there are editors. McIntyre could sure use one. You can't stand behind your reasoning if it's not coherent in the first place.