Although Lowry admits that Sam Zell and corporate mismanagement have had a lot to do with the disappointing results, he also suggests that there has always been a fundamental difference in the “selection, tone and style” of stories pursued by major daily newspapers and local TV stations. He also argues that local TV has gone in an even fluffier direction since the Tribune deal was done, helping lead him to a surprising shift:
Perhaps that’s why even some of us who railed against concentrated media ownership in the past derive little terror or righteous indignation from the prospect of easing the aforementioned [FCC] guidelines. In fact, given the financial strains local print and broadcasting face, it seems like a reasonable attempt to ensure their viability–and frankly might come as too little, too late.
At this desperate stage of the newspaper game, Lowry thinks the print media may now now be able to better mesh with its more smiley, TV cousins. Albeit for still debatable gains.