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Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Half of the surviving U.S. newspapers will be gone by 2021, Nicco Mele, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, tells the Wall Street Journal.

Driving the news: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans laid off its entire staff after being sold to its rival New Orleans Advocate.

The big picture: Many local papers have already folded after failing to transition print customers into paying digital subscribers. With the resources to spend on digital experiments, national papers like the Washington Post and New York Times have become the exception, while local outlets' ad sales have largely been sucked up by Google and Facebook.

  • "Nearly 1,800 newspapers closed between 2004 and 2018, leaving 200 counties with no newspaper and roughly half the counties in the country with only one, according to a University of North Carolina study" reported by the Journal.
  • Mid-sized papers with circulations between 100,000 and 200,000 have been hurt the most as a result of their inability to weather high publishing costs as print ads have disappeared, per the WSJ's analysis. Online ads are a fraction of the price of print ads.
  • Consolidation has become the answer for some mid-sized and smaller papers. Gannett Co. now has the largest newspaper chain by circulation — 6.9 million.

The bottom line: The loss of local newspapers creates "news deserts," with Americans less informed on the issues that matter to their region. Many turn to national news sources like cable news to understand national politics, often driving greater political polarization.

Go deeper: Rural areas are hardest hit by the death of American newspapers

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 mins ago - Economy & Business

The places regulation does not reach

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

Trump nominee Christopher Waller confirmed to Fed board

Christopher Waller at a Senate Banking hearing earlier this year. (Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

The Senate voted 48-47 on Thursday to confirm Trump nominee Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors — filling one of the two vacant slots on the influential economic body.

Why it matters: It's one of the last marks left on the Fed board by Trump, who has nominated five of its six members.

46 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.