Friday, March 02, 2007

Tribune Deal Lets Gannett Extend Its Mediocrity To All Of New York's Northern Suburbs

Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time Victims of Chicagoans Trying To Shed Properties and Free Up Cash
The Washington Post has news of the latest media fire sale, with Tribune selling the Stamford Advocate and its diminutive sister, the Greenwich Time for a relatively paltry $65 million. That's a healthy reflection of the sickly state of newspaperdom when two properties that cover some of the wealthiest towns in the U.S. are unloaded like that.
However, it's nothing new when you look at deals like McClatchy selling the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis last year for $530 million, even though it had paid $1.2 billion just eight years earlier. Yeah, yeah, the company got $160 million in tax benefits. But still.
What will readers in Connecticut get when Gannett takes over. Not a hell of a lot, as subscribers of The Journal-News [a one-time employer of mine in the 1980s] in the neighboring New York counties of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam can attest.
Not that the Advocate or Time are much better thanks to persistent penny-pinching by Tribune. But still.
Gannett has been a persistent underachiever with The Journal-News, consistently fumbling attempts to cover its diverse region in anything but a piecemeal way. Its business coverage -- mirroring the cutbacks at many other papers -- is anemic, as are its feature sections. To its credit, it does do a fine job covering high school and local college sports.
Pro baseball and football teams have beat writers who do go on the road. That's not the case with the Knicks and Rangers, though, who mostly get staff bylines only when they're at Madison Square Garden. Currently, the Connecticut papers get local team coverage from the still-strong sports department at Newsday. Which now means expect greater use of AP copy.
Gannett's all about efficiencies, bottom lines and squeezing enough to hear their reporters and editors squeal like pigs. The journalism comes second. So, good luck Advocate/Time. You've been warned.

1 comment:

whoster said...

Great job commenting behind the scene. I'm from Malaysia and we also have a lot of those critical of the govt. Unfortunately there aren't many whistle blowers because of the 'spartan laws' that restrict our freedom of opinion.