An End, and a Beginning, for the Media

In 2008, the old-media business got hammered. Can the new-media business help save it?

Illustration by Francisco Caceres for TIME

When the economy sneezes, the media business catches pneumonia. The problem for the media business in 2008 was that the economy caught pneumonia. When the economy gets pneumonia, the media business gets it too--then someone knocks it across the back of the head with a shovel.

Or several shovels. Advertising is cratering. (GM is essentially a media-funding company with a carmaker attached.) The audience is fragmenting. And the old means of business--grinding up trees and delivering them, shooting radiation to antennas--are being superseded by the Internet. (And it's not just the news media feeling the pinch. NBC's giving five hours of...

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