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Fake questions. Real answers.

Q: I heard about the Charlotte Observer cutting jobs. Is the newspaper business in trouble?

A: In response to this week's question about the current state of the newspaper biz, let's just say things have been better.

Part of the reason that newspapers are in trouble is because of the tough economic times America is experiencing right now. Papers make money from advertising, and with the housing market's current problems and gas prices being so high, businesses are scaling back on media buys. The other reason newspapers are in trouble is the shift in readers from print publications to Web sites. There's a contingent of readers out there who're used to reading physical newspapers every day, but most folks these days get their news online. And advertisers have noticed the shift and consequently slowed up on print advertising. That loss of cash has left the big dailies in a situation where they can't support these massive companies -- with hundreds of employees, printing presses and more. So, with readership and revenue down, now they have to cut people.

Is Creative Loafing getting hit? Well we're not totally immune, but we're in good shape. We could always use more advertisers, but where daily newspaper readership is going down, the alternative weekly audience is increasing. On top of that, we've embraced the Web and see it as something that enriches -- not competes with -- our print publication. So don't fret: For the foreseeable future, we'll be bringing you the best CL has to offer every week. Keep reading!

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