Monday, March 13, 2006

Blotted

The Times Leader is looking for a new owner this week, hopefully one that loves police blotters. The newspaper is one of 12 that The McClatchy Company will sell as part of its takeover of Knight-Ridder, according to various wire reports. As for what this means for the TL, that's up in the air. Editor Matt Golas said nothing of it in his morning update, despite stories on the buyout being plastered all over the TL's website.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Tom Carten said...

As for what this means for the TL, that's up in the air.

My guess, but putting no money on it (which shows you how confident I am)...

[disclaimer below]*

First, let me frame my remarks in the context of my feeling that a city with two head-to-head competing newspapers is far better off than one with either a single paper or one with a shared agreement. There are presently only 12 cities that are h2h and WB is one of them.

I think, in no particular order:

1) McClatchy has no particular ego investment in the TL, as did Cap Cities or its followers. For them, the fight with the CV is irrelevant and it's no longer a case of "We have to beat those twerps over on North Washington Street." If the TL is a financial drag, it can be tossed over the side on purely financial grounds.

2) Newspaper circulation is sliding all over the country, including here. Although some people subcribe (or rack-buy) both papers, both have to be feeling the effects more than a single-paper market would.

3) The CV does better than the TL in the City Zone, which is prized by advertisers. Sorry, Back Mountain, but you aren't in the prime advertising location. Circ numbers are nice, but it's what you can see from the top of the bank building in Downtown WB that counts most.

4) I can't imagine what company would want to buy a newspaper with those negatives (poor city zone, slipping circ, heavy competition) these days. Newspapers aren't printing money like they did in years past. Newsprint is gold, advertising in this area is split between the two papers and I don't think we have the population to support them, what with tv news being 24/7.

I just don't see a future for it, which is unfortunate, given its age and history. It is also unfortunate for the people who work there, a bunch of whom are my friends.

[Disclaimer: Many of you might know that I have been a music columnist for the CV since 1979. I have tried to keep that from coloring my feelings on this matter. I am not a staff member there, but just a weekly "special to" writer.]

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't see the Lynetts operating two papers in one city. In Scranton they consolidated and I'm sure they'd do the same in The Dubya-Bee

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it's too bad because the TL is an infinitely better newspaper than the CV. The CV is marked by lazy reporting and publishing handouts. At least some people at the TL know how to actually report a story.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, you better hope that Howard isn't really a Times/Shamrock employee and that if he is he has no way for sure to know who leaves "Anonymous" posts.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't care. CV people know the TL is a better newspaper.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both newspapers have been at each other's throats since the late 1970s, when striking Times Leader employees formed the Citizens' Voice. It was an ugly strike then, and there's still bad blood between both newspapers today.

It's not a matter of which newspaper is better, it's a matter of which newspaper is still clinging to the past. Matt Golas' latest editorial, calling the CV a county lapdog, seems to point to the TL as the still-bitter newspaper.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to agree. The Golas "open letter" was classless. The TL does keep police and the elected types on their toes, and that's good. Golas should have left it at that. The childish sniping only reinforces the negative view of the media many people have.

10:08 AM  

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