Dallas News Publisher Jim Moroney Addresses Decision to Shutter Quick, Rumors of Layoffs

Categories: Media
quick-1.jpg
As Merritt noted on Mixmaster earlier, The Dallas Morning News will no longer publish Quick after its August 4 issue, bringing to a close the free weekly's 8-year-long run. Jim Moroney, the publisher and CEO at The News, tells Unfair Park he broke the news to its staff at around 10:30 this morning: Seven full-timers have been laid off, as have two part-timers. All will be given severance, and all have been told they can apply for other jobs at the paper if and when they come open.

But there aren't any at present -- and he's not sure when that will be the case.

Moroney tells Unfair Park that closing Quick was "a difficult decision," but an inevitable one, given that it simply never made money.

"Look, I was very, very excited and very, very invested in the creation and launch of Quick in '03 and took a lot of pride in it and felt very personal about it," he says. "It was something we developed on my watch, and that makes it all the harder that you're going to shut it down. But, frankly, it had been mostly a break-even proposition for the past few years. Some months you'd make some money; some months you'd lose some money. The staff was doing everything it could, but we couldn't find a business model where we could match revenue with expenses and make it something sustainable or profitable enough to continue to operate.

"A lot of smart people were trying to come up with different ways to make it work. But we looked up and said, 'It's just not getting there, and we've got things that are very successful, like Al Dia and Briefing, that we can focus time and attention on.'"

I asked Moroney if today's announcement related to a long-floating rumor that layoffs are once again coming the newspaper.

"This is an isolated event with Quick," he says. "Whether it happened today or six months from now or six months ago, it's a singular event. The newspaper industry -- and you can check me on this -- through the first quarter of this year has had 21 consecutive quarters of declining ad revenue. ... We are in an industry that continues to do more with less, and continuing to run the business smartly and more efficiently is a permanent condition for now.

"I wish I could say ad revenues will turn around in the third and fourth quarter, and they might, but they haven't in the past five years. I said, 'Guys, this isn't about will there be layoffs tomorrow or in six months.' We are continuing to find new ways to line up our expenses with where our revenues are. While we've done better than some other companies in the industry, you can't go up against a strong tide and expect to beat it forever."

I asked about the so-called premium content -- whether the pay wall's working to bring in revenue. Moroney didn't say. He spoke instead about how it's providing "a whole lot of really good information about our subscribers and how they use our digitally distributed content." He did say Sunday circulation's improving, but that "the newspaper industry has had a decline in circulation for the last 20 years. It's just gotten more pronounced."

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Wait... Al Dia is a success?  By what standard?  Littering my lawn?

Howard
Howard

well drat i actually started liking that comic about the hipster musician girl and her quirky friends. (no, really.) it would actually be cool if the observer went back to the days of including indie comic strips in its pages... jus' sayin'.

Fan Of Burnt Orange
Fan Of Burnt Orange

Great! Now there are only two free weekly pubs left...Observer and Blitz Weekly. Wow!

Quizzer
Quizzer

It was poorly conceived and executed, like everything the DMN does.

Zeeba Neighba
Zeeba Neighba

No surprise. Anything that harbors the like of Ben and Skin cancer is doomed to fail.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

A McPaper for those with a McMind. It was mostly drivel.

Subscribe to the DMN and you won't have to worry about a paywall. The News needs to put 100% of its time and money into strengthening its primary product.

It's so refreshing to take a moment in the morning with a cup of coffee and the paper. It's a habit worth having even if you do disagree with the News editorial content.

It'll make you smarter at your next cocktail party...trust me.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

No more wacky Gordon Keith columns?  NOOOOO!!!!!1!!

Ccdu3
Ccdu3

give them credit for supporting local music...or maybe just imitating another local weekly. Quick also seemed to be more obsessed with the Ticket than Sportatorium commentators..

Dr. Burlough
Dr. Burlough

I found a little old neighbor who still subscribes,  gives me access via her subscription.  Check it out.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

As I recall, virtually no one on this blog thought Quick made any sense at all when it was first launched.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Will the severance packages come from the generous bonuses given to the Belo executives?

Pretty sure I know the answer to that.

me
me

"more with less" ... is he quoting from "The Wire"'s last and final season ???how many years ago was that ???

Montemalone
Montemalone

Akbar and Jeff?

Maybe they finally got married.

Howard
Howard

i pick up blitz for the girl of the week.

Paper is dead
Paper is dead

This is a silly thing to say. Did your ancestors prefer horse-and-buggy to automobiles, too?

Howard
Howard

They should have just thrown Quick behind the paywall, too.

Geoff Johnston
Geoff Johnston

I'll go to your dumb cocktail party, if only to punch you in the pants.

Erich S
Erich S

Their local music coverage was pretty selective. It seemed to be the same eight bands/groups every week. 

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

It was created to put the competing AM Journal Express out of business. It ended up launching before AM Journal and put it out of business. Sad to see people lose their jobs, but am surprised it lasted as long as it did.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Sorry Geoff. You're not invited.

Besides, punching me in the pants is probably something you learned through your thorough reading of Quick.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Trust no one 70's.

You gotta understand what the competition is up to or you won't have a reasonable rebuttal.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Don't trust anyone over 30!Too bad only those 50 and over will get that...

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...