By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — Steve Eggleston wrote earlier this week on this blog about the fast approaching death of newsprint and reported on several media spin-off deals.  It’s an interesting read.

The fall of the newspaper is sad to me.  With it comes the fall of the old-fashioned journalist.  The newspaper guy.  The shoe-leather-journalist is the guy with the steno pad in his hand, or a note pad in his shirt pocket along with a couple of pens.  He’s probably got a tape recorder in his other hand, or maybe an app downloaded on his phone that records.  True journalism is a dying art.

Some, like Stacy McCain, continue to plug away at it and are willing to jump in the car and go wherever the story takes them.  It’s a dying art.

With the fall of the newspaper we rely now on digital media for our news, for the most part.  The internet has replaced the thick newspaper that used to lie at your curb every morning.  Remember paper boys?  They rode bikes with canvas bags over their handlebars; the bags were loaded down with newspapers they had picked up at a drop-off point somewhere.  Eventually, as America spread out into suburbs, the paperboy on a bike was replace with a paperboy in a car.  I was nearly decapitated one morning as our delivery guy whizzed my Sunday edition over the roof of his car with lethal accuracy.

I loved settling down to a real newspaper every morning with a cup of coffee, the ink smearing my fingertips black.  I used to read three papers a day – I subscribed to our local paper, the USA Today, and The New York Times.  That’s back when they were all worth reading.  I’m dating myself.

A couple of weeks ago I bought my first local paper in probably three years.  It was smaller than I remember – much smaller.  It was thinner, too.  In fact, I did a double take through the paper to be sure it was all there.  Once I removed the grocery store circulars and the box store ads, there wasn’t much left to see.  Even worse, the whole thing cost three times more than it did three years ago.

From a practical perspective, it makes perfect sense why the physical newspaper is fast becoming a relic from the past.  In a world where news breaks on Twitter in 140-characters, where Drudge plays with our perception of the news, and where Facebook makes sharing stories instantaneous, how in the world could a lowly newspaper compete?

Be that as it may, I still miss the paper and ink.

By Steve Eggleston

The last 2 weeks have been momentous in the media world, as three major multimedia companies, including the nation’s largest newspaper publishing group, announced they were spinning off their print operations, and a fourth completed its previously-announced spin-off of the second-largest newspaper publishing group:

  • On July 30, Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps announced that, as part of its takeover of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications, set to close in 2015, it would be spinning off the combined companies’ print properties, along with the print properties’ associated electronic properties, into a liability-free company with $10 million in “seed money” and the Journal name.
  • On Monday, the Tribune Media Company completed the previously-announced spin-off of the second-largest newspaper group into Tribune Publishing. Notably, Tribune Media kept ownership of the electronic presence of the newspapers, and burdened the new print company with $350 million in debt and $120 million in office space lease costs through 2017.
  • On Tuesday, Gannett, publishers of USA Today, announced that it would be splitting off the largest newspaper group in 2015. Much like the Scripps/Journal deal, the newspaper side will retain the Gannett name and the newspaper-specific digital properties, with the broadcast company assuming all the current debt.

These moves are on the heels of last year’s successful spin-off of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire, headlined by The Wall Street Journal, from his larger multimedia empire. A New York Times article from last year announcing the Tribune spin-off explains why this is happening:

Despite the immediate interest from bidders, Tribune faces a tough market for newspapers, especially large regional dailies that have been hit hard by changes in advertiser and consumer behavior. In October, The Tampa Tribune sold for a scant $9.5 million; Philadelphia’s newspapers sold for $55 million in April 2012 after fetching $515 million in 2006.

Some investors are so concerned about print that they will not buy any companies with publishing stakes, according to Reed Phillips, a managing partner for DeSilva & Phillips, a media banking firm. “Shareholders aren’t rewarding companies for being diversified anymore,” he said. “Print media, there’s a real negative connotation.”

He said investors wanted to see companies that were exclusively focused on print and were trying to show how they would make a profitable transition to digital. “They’re going to have to be transformed,” said Mr. Phillips about these print companies. “Then investors may get re-excited.”

Given the economics of newsprint have only declined since then, there continues to be no upside for a vertically-integrated multimedia company to include newsprint. To put it bluntly, the population of those who like the feel of newsprint rather than staring at a screen is dying off quite quickly, and the fixed costs of delivering that newsprint are skyrocketing.

Another reason the multimedia companies are splitting off their newsprint operations is the FCC’s antiquated cross-ownership rules, which between 1975 and 2007, and again since 2011 following a court order, prohibit a single non-grandfathered company from owning both a newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same market. That was a stated factor in Gannett’s divesture of its print properties, and was likely a factor in Scripps/Journal’s divesture of their print properties.

I wrote about the Boston Globe being saved from the clutches of those nasty conservatives a few days ago. Red Mass Group expands on why John Henry of the Boston Red Sox is the perfect buyer for the paper:

John Henry on the other hand is a long time Democratic donor and activist. According to his donation records Henry has donated over $1.1M to Democrats and special interest groups, while $1000 went to a lone Republican.

$1,000 Republican
$1,003,250 Democrat
$101,500 special interest
total: $1,105,750

Seemingly the New York Times Corporation may have not fulfilled it’s fiduciary responsibility to get the most money for an asset it was selling. Furthermore, it seems to be based on the politics of the bidders.

The previous high bidder is not taking this sitting down:

“We bid significantly more than Henry,” said John Lynch, the CEO of U-T San Diego, one of the Globe finalists. “At the end of the day, I’m certain our bid was higher and could have been a lot more higher if they had just asked. I’m just stunned. I thought this was a public company that had a fiduciary duty to get the most by its stockholders. … From the beginning, I don’t think they wanted to sell to us.”

Lynch said the Times laid out three qualifiers for the deal: price, capability to close quickly and ability to finance.

“We had the money in the bank, we had the highest price and we rolled over (Friday) and accepted all their terms,” said Lynch.

As recently as 3 p.m. EDT Friday, Lynch said, U-T San Diego had an army of lawyers working to iron out a deal with the Times, and didn’t officially learn it had lost until they received an email at 3:30 a.m. EDT — some two hours after the Globe announced the $70 million deal on Twitter.

Hey what’s elementary economics when there is a neighborhood to protect?

A final thought. The New York Times is the leading proponent of social and economic Liberalism in general and Barack Obama and his economic policies in particular.

If you wonder why democrats in congress and on the White House have been so willing to put their party before the actual economic good of the country then you simply don’t understand liberalism.

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4:52 PM Just heard the Washington Post has been purchased by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com

In Theory Amazon hasn’t purchased it but in terms of advertising he will basically be paying himself. If he integrates the business and we know Bezos is skilled at this, then again will conservative book buyers decide to spend their money elsewhere if Bezos becomes the liberal angel.

I must admit I have no idea how this will turn out but it’s interesting to note that both the Post and the Globe buyers are successful businessmen who have plenty of money to lose if they wish.

The question becomes are they businessman’s trying to expand to succeed in a new business or Angels who have plenty of money to lose in pushing a viewpoint?

That’s the $64,000 questions or should I say the $250 Million dollar question

Archie Bunker: You wouldn’t then turn around and do what McNabb was trying to do, would ya?

Jim Bowman: You mean sell to Jews?

Archie Bunker:   Yeah.

Jim Bowman: Oh NO!…These people are Baptists.

All in the Family Lionel Moves into the Neighborhood 1971

At Breitbart they are talking about the sale of the Boston Globe and the fact that the NYT is taking a 93% loss.

After purchasing the Boston Globe in 1993 for a then-record $1.1 billion, the financially troubled New York Times just announced it sold the 141 year-old paper to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry for a mere $70 million. That’s a straight 93% loss. Figuring in two decades of inflation would only make it worse — as does the fact the Times retains the Globe’s pension liabilities, estimated at over $100 million.

That the Globe is being sold at a 93% (not counting inflation) is news.  That it’s being sold to the owner of the Boston Red Sox is bigger news.  Maybe the Globe figures if anyone can turn things around, he can, after all he has a  history of producing Miracles that nobody would have believed possible. (and that doesn’t even include this season).

But the big story of the sale of the paper (and the Worcester Telegram) was a throw away line later in the piece.

In 2011, the Times turned down a $300 million offer from Aaron Kushner, CEO of Freedom Communications, Inc., publisher of the Orange County Register and other newspapers in California. This offer even included the assumption of pension liabilities, which are currently estimated at $110 million.

The Times itself reports that today’s sale to Henry does not include pension liabilities. Apparently, those remain a Times’ responsibility and expense.

Think about this for a second.

The New York Times turned down an offer 4 times as large that included the pension costs in order to avoid selling this paper to the owners of the Orange County Register.

Why?  I think it’s because they read my piece from February:

consider the following:

  • Imagine a Movie section where the liberal themes of a picture were noted and tweaked while the conservative themes were highlighted and celebrated.
  • Imagine a culture section where events of a conservative nature were celebrated while liberals pressed to get the press.
  • Imagine reviews of plays with conservative themes getting web space and print space and liberal themes hoping for a line or two.
  • Imagine stories in the Sunday section celebrating historic places, people and sites that highlight America’s conservative History or people who are conservative doing great things for the community.
  • Imagine a whole slew of conservative Journalists cutting their teeth of straight news instead of news with a liberal spin, imagine the farm team it would create.
  • Imagine an editorial page giving conservative opinion day after day after day.
  • And imagine a web site ranked in the top 1500 worldwide and top 350 nationally, a web site that local papers around New England draw stories from giving that public conservative thought as background noise in the same way that liberals have done for ages.

What’s $230 million dollars and pension costs to the shareholders when it’s held up against keeping those dirty conservatives out of the neighborhood? Particularly with a tough election coming up in 2014.

And they did do better than Newsweek.

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Olimometer 2.52

Under 12 hours to go before the end of this week and I’m still $194 short.

If you are hesitating remember Diane Feinstein wants to redefine a journalist as someone who makes a salary. You can help make sure I qualify.

.

Remember that on Thursday, May 17, my plan had been to cover the G8 Summit at Camp David, until I saw Aaron Walker’s 28,000-word epic, “How Brett Kimberlin Tried to Frame Me for a Crime” and immediately recognized his story as newsworthy.

Robert Stacy McCain Connecting the Dots, Telling the story Feb 18th 2013

Indo Montoya:  You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

The Princess Bride 1987

I saw an interesting tweet concerning this story at the San Bernardino Sun

Exactly six months after 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a small group from Organizing for Action stood here Friday with 26 flags and signs calling for stricter gun control.

The story by staff writer Ryan Hagen isn’t long,  only 194 words when counted via Microsoft word, but you know what’s even smaller, the number of protesters the story is talking about…

three,

Yes you read that right, three protesters calling for gun control was worthy of send staff writer Ryan Hagen to cover it and produce a 194 word story in this paper.

“It’s three people today, but it will be 23 next time, and we’ll see the time after that,” Lewis said.

Think about it, this paper sent a staff writer Ryan Hagen, he saw three protesters and wrote the story, the newspaper decided three protesters were newsworthy, an editor edited the story and the paper printed a story containing an average of 64.6 words per protester in attendance.

Seeing this my thoughts instantly turned to the annual March for Life, it was very well attended this year:

More than 500,000 people are attending today’s March for Life in a massive attendance that could be well higher than that estimate and set records for the annual pro-life event challenging the mantra of unlimited abortion.

That was under six months ago.  Based on the San Bernardino Sun’s word per protester standard of 64.6 words per protester to give the same coverage the Sun would have to devote 32,600,000 words to the March for Life.  If you figure 3 sections of 16 pages with an average of 4000 words per page it would take 169 days to provide equal coverage per protester and that’s if they devoted every single word every day to the March

Since that would be unrealistic the question becomes exactly how many words did the San Bernardino Sun decide the 500,000 people in the March for Life were worthy of?

Times being what they are The San Bernardino Sun might not want the expense of sending staff writer Ryan Hagen to DC to cover the march.  Perhaps instead they would pick up an AP story and maybe send Mr. Hagen to interview a local person who two who attended the March after the fact to produce a local angle, maybe even a follow-up story with reaction from proponents and opponents.  Might generate some buzz and sell some papers.

So to find out what the coverage was I did a search of the paper for “march for life”

sbs1

OK there is one result but the title confused me. “Attack Dog Bill” would seem an odd title for a story on the March for life.  What was their angle?  Did they report the protest as an “attack” on Abortion, did they do a related piece on a bill introduced after the protest that may have gotten some attention?

My confusion lasted until I actually looked at the page and found it wasn’t a story about the March for Life it was a  a “letters to the editor” page and nestled amid the 1200 words commenting on various pieces such as “Adopting landscaping rules for homes” and “Rams owner Frontiere dies” was this letter to the editor:

Media blackout

Thank goodness the television network EWTN had four hours of coverage about the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The pro-life protest has been growing steadily for 35 years. Freezing weather has not stopped the people from converging on the mall to protest the legalized aborting of the holy innocents.

I could not find any articles in the Daily News about the march which occurred on Jan. 22. This year the mall was filled and spilling into the surrounding streets. As usual, the majority of participants were young. This is big news. Where is the coverage?

– MAUREEN C. WIGGINS

Lake View Terrace

So lets sum up:   Three anti gun protesters is worthy of an original 194 word story written by a staff writer for the San Bernardino Sun.

500,000+ plus protesters in cold weather at the March for Life are not only unworthy of coverage but the only mention in the paper are 112 words by a reader wondering why there was no coverage.

And people wonder why newspapers are dying?

I know Stacy McCain is kind of busy between his own blog and being the Editor in Chief of the new Website Viral Read but I think for a nominal fee they might be able to engage him for a video conference for the News staff to give a quick lesson on how to determine if a story is newsworthy and if it is not.

Perhaps if they do they won’t see snarky tweets like this one about them:

Update: Hotair & href=”http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/171014/”>Glenn discover the story but it’s not the small amount of the gun control crowd that matters, it’s that it still got coverage with only three folks. Will they cover the Tea Party today? Do I have to ask?

It’s amazing what doesn’t pass for news anymore:

Two weeks have passed since reporters Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami – friends to me and many others at the newspaper – were attacked on a Saturday night as they drove home from a show at the Attucks Theatre. They had stopped at a red light, in a crowd of at least 100 young people walking on the sidewalk. Rostami locked her car door. Someone threw a rock at her window. Forster got out to confront the rock-thrower, and that’s when the beating began.

Neither suffered grave injuries, but both were out of work for a week. Forster’s torso ached from blows to his ribs, and he retained a thumb-sized bump on his head. Rostami fears to be alone in her home. Forster wishes he’d stayed in the car.

Hey two reporters beaten to the point where they were out of work for a week, that must have been some story.

Forster and Rostami’s story has not, until today, appeared in this paper. The responding officer coded the incident as a simple assault, despite their assertions that at least 30 people had participated in the attack. A reporter making routine checks of police reports would see “simple assault” and, if the names were unfamiliar, would be unlikely to write about it. In this case, editors hesitated to assign a story about their own employees. Would it seem like the paper treated its employees differently from other crime victims?

Now I might be naive but I’d say 30 people beating two folks is news, no matter who they work for. Could there be some other reason why this wasn’t considered newsworthy?

The next day, Forster searched Twitter for mention of the attack.

One post chilled him.

“I feel for the white man who got beat up at the light,” wrote one person.

“I don’t,” wrote another, indicating laughter. “(do it for trayvon martin)”

Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, died after being shot by a community watch captain with white and Hispanic parents, George Zimmerman, in Florida.

Forster and Rostami, both white, suffered a beating at the hands of a crowd of black teenagers.

So the beating of their own reporters by 30 Black youths in their community isn’t newsworthy according to this paper. How would they react if the races were reversed? There is an easy way to check. I did a search of the Paper’s archives for the word “Trayvon”

Well of course they covered the case, it was national news, it’s not like they went long on it:

10 pages? I clicked on the last page listed and here is what came up


Oh so they only did 8 pages of stories on the Martin case, I guess it’s OK then.

So lets bottom line this: the The Virginian-Pilot found the Trayvon Martin out of Florida story worth 8 pages of entries but didn’t find the beating of their own people in their own area newsworthy and if it wasn’t for the Op-ed above it would still be unknown.

This is not only media bias, but racism at its worst. It protects the wrong for the sake of preserving a narrative for social or political reasons.

And if you don’t think its all that important what is reported in the Virginian Pilot just remember places like this are the Single and double AA teams that feed our national media. We ignore it at our own risk.

Update: One other thing to consider, thugs aren’t only thugs when a person of a different race drives by. If an assault on their own journalists went unreported for two weeks how much less likely is the paper to cover non fatal beatings, robberies or intimidation within the community done by the same people? The paper and the police do the black community no favor by ignoring this stuff.

Update 2: Tom McGuire of Just one Minute sends this link in comments.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the appointment of Maurice Jones, publisher of The Virginian-Pilot, to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Senate approval – six months after President Barack Obama nominated Jones for the post – came in the form of a unanimous consent agreement between Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate.

Apparently these small operations are a farm team for more than just the MSM

Update 3: Tom links (thanks) and speculates on his own blog:

Obviously this crime was a local, not federal matter. Still, the national media does not seem in a hurry to cover the black-on-white “Justice for Trayvon” violence that has a possible connection to the kid that would have looked like Obama’s son. And it may be that the news judgment of the Pilot was shaded by a desire to spare their old boss from having to explain to his new bosses just what a symbol that hypothetical son had become.

Kyle had never attended a tea party event before.

He is a student at Worcester State University who came to cover the Worcester Tea Party event for his school newspaper

Anyone who maintains that abortion is a service to the poor needs to read this story out of NY:

Pro-aborts from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the rest of the abortion industry accused us of “targeting minorities,” “preying upon women,” and “endangering women’s right to choose.” They expressed outrage that we open our clinics in the same buildings as they operate in.

So with that in mind, I asked the Council who was targeting whom, who was preying upon whom, as I shared the following numbers from the Summary of Vital Statistics, The City of New York, Table 29a:

Between 1999-2008 there were 922,272 abortions in New York City. Of these:

50,382 (5.5%) were Asian

101, 856 (11%) were White

296,330 (32.1%) were Hispanic

430,515 (46.7%) were Black

79% of all abortions in New York City in that 10-yr period – 726,845 babies – were Black and Hispanic.

Again, I asked, who is targeting whom?

The rest of the statistics at the site are astounding, and some are even more horrifying.

How is it that people who are convinced that the tea party is the reincarnation of the KKK support democrats who finance the slaughter of their race?

The Title of this post says it all

Pope meets the Queen – who, unlike the Archbishop of Canterbury, is a real Protestant

Gotta love that. Interesting take in the article too:

Today’s meeting undoubtedly reflects a clash of historical traditions and formal theology. But it is also an encounter between two devout, old-fashioned, conservative Christians – and, in that respect, a meeting of minds.

Just go to his site and keep reading.