“Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of” newspapers. The once mighty Borg family empire which purchased the Record in 1930, sold it to Gannett Company in 2016, which is now merging with GateHouse Media.
In its current iteration as NorthJersey.com, the announcement of the merger was not a local article mentioning any of the changes we might expect but rather a a self-serving piece in USA Today, also owned by Gannett. The article indicates that the companies estimated they can save $275 million to $300 million in annual costs within 24 months. They said the savings would come primarily from the “increased scale of the new organization, sharing of best practices, leveraging existing infrastructure, facility rationalization and other judicious cost reductions.”
For news media it’s a brave new world today with shaky finances and a tough future ahead. The article goes on to indicate the stakes are high and that the fate of for-profit local journalism hangs in the balance as the news industry spars with digital giants… “We all pray that it works,” said Nancy Whitmore, professor of communication at Butler University in Indianapolis. Those of us that see the immense significance of local news certainly hope it works.”
Above image: the front page of the pre-Borg Evening Record of November 11, 1918