Oh SI can you see: I just about fell out this morning when I saw the Sun Herald had two stories from Hancock County in today’s paper.
Folks to my untrained eye it appears that when the Newhouse family cut back on printing newspapers to 3 days a week and McClatchy’s Sun Herald rushed into East Jackson County talking smack to do battle with the Newhouse owned Mississippi Press, the west side of the coast was abandoned by the S-H. Yeah, occasionally the paper would run press releases disguised as news stories such as when the Froogles opened a few weeks back as followed up by one of the new cub reporters doing a profile on same but actually reporting news everyone didn’t already get from the local beauty shop? It just ain’t happening anymore folks but today we found out what it takes to get the newspaper of record to cover a story from Hancock County: Someone either has to get shot or some famous reptilian TeeVee talking head political hack moves to town. To wit:
Carvilles buying Pete Fountain’s Bay St. Louis property ~ Donna Harris
The lone comment left to her piece well sums up my feelings:
Typical political reptiles that make a grand living spinning their disciples like Russian sabre dancers…………….
I’ll note Bob Livingston has a place down the street. Don’t get me wrong, we like wealthy taxpaying political reptiles choosing the Bay for a second home but it doesn’t change the fact they are reptiles. But be still my beating heart maybe I’ll actually see ol’ James at the Froogles. ;-)
Police seeking man after shooting in Bay St. Louis ~ Donna Harris
I’m personally happy to see Donna made it over here. I do not know if this is a trend or if the news editors will put Hancock County back on iggy but I just about have my wife convinced it is time to save the money we spend on a paper that does not cover the area where we live.
And for a long while I wondered how Jim Amoss could let him go, especially to a new competitor in the Advocate. Didn’t take me too long to figure out the answer though because the gang at NOLA Media Group can still highlight Powell’s great work and no longer have to pay his salary. I personally think there is a method to the madness and leveraging copywrite, fair use and the DMCA is smart.
I’m tickled because the lone commenter to the above on NOLA has figured it out. Steve Newhouse may be a trust fund baby but there is a method to the madness.
Well folks I’m not quite sure where to start as Slabbed chips in another 2 cents worth on the remaking of the Times Picayune. By now I hope you guys have “Sometimes Picayune” fatigue but I know that is not the case with some of ya so here goes for those of you that want to get the deep down low on this topic. I haven’t had more to say on this since late July because Slabbed has been out on assignment doing high quality investigative journalism such as blowing open Aaron Broussard’s use of oversea business ventures as a conduit for graft and bribery and uncovering a specious real estate transaction involving a small school district. You lifers well know these are far from the only skins hanging on the wall here at the worldwide headquarters of Slabbed New Media as we’ve become a powerful voice in the local media landscape in our own right.
People are naturally resistant to change, to the point where it is to their detriment. It is a well-studied topic and one in which I am familiar via my interest in behavioral economics. Throw in competing financial interests and it made for an interesting summer as Errol Laborde and the noisemakers made sure their newly disenfranchised voices would be heard loud and clear via sheer mass and repetition. Occasionally something highly insightful would be written, mostly in the new media on websites like American Zombie and Library Chronicles along with certain trade journals. Since the news broke in May media alliances have been made, broken and remade. As a long time blogger on stock message boards the business implications of the spectacle were both informative and amusing to me as I often thought of the following while watching the gyrations:
Now don’t get me wrong, when the 500 pound gorilla in the room decides it is time to go on a diet the local inhabitants of the forest are going to be impacted especially since local food sources have been on a drastic decline. My problem is that even when it is shown that the numbers in the new Newhouse business model make sense, old line cognitive biases cause the noisemakers to ignore the “newsonomics” those numbers present. Leaky pay-walls are a joke and are easily defeated. The concept that the readers will make up for the drastic declines in advertising are a pipe dream along with the notion “the news”, whatever that is, has intrinsic value to the general public. Read the rest of this entry »
Did I say yesterday Ashton Phelps wasn’t getting it done at the T-P? Have I previously opined that I thought the T-P was too close to the subject matter of their reporting? The problem I submit is not with the reporters but I’ve said that before too, along with opining that the job of a newspaper publisher was that of a professional ass-kisser. Need some proof? Well then you’ve come to the right place.
Before the noisemakers make more noise perhaps we should all consider what we’ve truly lost because losing the inbred influence of the Boston Club at the Times Picayune is likely not a bad thing. And the news sources that wondered why they were no longer being listened to by the beat journalists around that time should wonder no more.
Actually folks we are going back in time first to set things up as we examine the economic changes wrought by the late May news leak the T-P would be scaling out of the dead tree biz so let’s start with this American Journalism review article from November 1994 “A New Era at Newhouse“: (H/T Mark Schleifstein via Anita Lee via twitter)
Donald Newhouse leaves Manhattan for his office in Newark before dawn. Most mornings, he is at his desk at the Star-Ledger building by 5:30 – the best time to reach him, his secretary says. She is right. He answers his own phone.
His father, the late S.I. Newhouse, built a media empire during the first two-thirds of this century, beginning with a part-ownership of a nondescript daily in Bayonne, New Jersey. Sons Donald and Si command one of the world’s largest family fortunes, recently estimated at $8 billion between them by Forbes magazine. They control what an editor who once worked for them terms “the largest journalistic concern in the English language.” The properties are familiar names to anyone who takes reading seriously: Random House. Conde Nast. Vanity Fair. The New Yorker.
Donald Newhouse, 65, has ultimate authority for newspapers in 22 cities across America. But on a midsummer day as the sun is just bleaching the sky, he has no desire to talk about the dramatic improvement of several of those papers. Nor does he wish to arrange a later interview.
If the Newhouse papers are doing better journalism, he tells me, “it’s coincidental. If there’s improvement in the papers, it’s as a result of improvements being made locally. Our publishers have autonomy.”
Indeed it was a coincidence IMHO folks as former Newhouse employees indicated to me early on in the T-P chop shop debacle the results of the decentralized management structure was very uneven quality across the company. But the mid 1990s evidently witnessed some sort renaissance at the publishing empire S.I. Sr built as I continue: Read the rest of this entry »