Tag Archive: Gannett

Gannett to buy The Record

Media consolidation continues in New Jersey; looks like Gannett, the media conglomerate that owns USA Today as well as Asbury Park Press (APP) and several other newspapers across NJ, will buy up The Record. It has been a fiercely independent news outlet, and privately owned….
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Gannett Going Down the Tubes

Gannett is going to start charging for people to read the online version of their 80 local newspapers.  That includes the Asbury Park Press, Courier News, Courier-Post, Home News Tribune, Daily Record, and The Daily Journal.

It’s not bad enough they’ve gutted their local reporting, removing any non-bleeding news from New Jersey’s communities of less than 50,000 residents.  Or that they’ve essentially merged the editorial boards of papers with each other.  Or shrunk the papers by more than half of what they used to be.

No, now they are going to start charging money for us to read their ad-laden websites where it takes multiple clicks through ad-laden pages to get to the ad-laden story you might want to read.  It’s not like the articles are that well-written or informative to start with

I can’t imagine this is going to do anything but erode their reader base the way their home-subscriber base has eroded.  I mean, if they aren’t going to report on my home-town unless there is scandal or murder, why would I pay extra money to read it?

The result will be less money from advertisements, more staff reductions, and the decimation of most of New Jersey’s newspapers.

It’s time for a new model to grow.

Star-Ledger doubles statehouse bureau staff

Star-Ledger announced some news of the own last night. They’re doubling their staff at their statehouse bureau to cover Gov. Christie, the legislature, and the NJ Supreme Court. And, for their part, Politicker is launching their State Street Wire March 1. More coverage isn’t necessarily better coverage. And we compete with both, for readers and to provide context for those readers. But I’m glad to see this happen in commercial news coverage because they’ve taken a lot of hits over the last few years, and both the Ledger and politicker have, and I read them both.

Three years ago, Star-Ledger laid off 40% of its newsroom staff, which the New York Times noted at the time was one of the largest reductions in a single move by a major American paper. The Times had just had its own round of editorial layoffs – a first for the Times – and was soon to lay off another 100 newsroom staff, and the national paper of record no longer covers New Jersey news as closely as it once did. Across the country newsrooms were and are hurting; advertising down, and costs up – from bedrock papers like the Times and Ledger to smaller, locally-essential weeklies. The Delaware Valley News, which covered the river towns along the New Jersey and Pennsylvania banks of the Delaware, closed three years ago too – the first paper I ever worked for. Around the same time, Politicker’s national expansion took a dive, shutting down 12 state sites. (Juan Melli, who became Associate Editor at politicker.com 3 years after founding Blue Jersey, was out with that round of layoffs).

With massive shifts in editorial staffing have come changes, new ventures like newjerseynewsroom.com, formed out of the ruins of the Star-Ledger layoffs by journalists whose experience “adds up to over 1,000 years”. And into the reporting void, hyperlocals are springing up to catch news a new way, in very focused geographical areas. Citizen’s Campaign’s new NJ Hyperlocal News Association is helping hyperlocals develop, an effort Blue Jersey is involved in, in our own small way.

The latest bad news for newspapers came in a one-two punch over the last few days. It was the last day at work for nearly half of Gannett’s editorial staff with job losses at Courier News, Home News Tribune and Daily Record. One of those let go, Daily Record’s political columnist Fred Snowflack, who outed himself as a Democrat on his way out the door. And – bad timing – that bill that would allow municipalities to post legal notices on their websites rather than requiring them to pay newspapers for the service. Newspapers, the Star-Ledger in the lead, are charging that this is less a cost-cutting option for government and less an effort by government to control their content and cripple them financially. Jury’s still out on that one, for me.

So, I’m liking new reporting muscle at the state house. Good luck, Star-Ledger. Politicker too. Good luck.

Blue Jersey Radio welcomes Bob Ingle- LIVE tonight at 8:00pm

Listen to internet radio with Blue Jersey on Blog Talk Radio

BlueJerseyRadio

Each week, Blue Jersey Radio streams LIVE with Jersey’s latest political buzz, interviews with newsmakers, and your stimulating calls Number: (646) 652-2773.

Tonight’s guest Bob Ingle is senior political reporter for Gannett NJ. He also wrote the bestselling book Soprano State which was made into a movie to premiere later this fall!

He’ll update us on that plus share his thoughts on hot topics du jour like Sheriff Speziale’s dramatic exit or the scandal-plagued DRPA.

It’ll be hot hot hot.

So, tune in tonight and every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. to laugh so hard you’ll get an ab workout. Seriously.

You won’t want to miss an episode – and of course, you never have to. Listen to them all on Blogtalkradio, or download any show on iTunes.

Not quite the ringing endorsement

Now remember, this is the endorsement of the Asbury Park Press for Chris Christie. Before rambling on about how terrible Democrats are and have been, this is the best they could give him:

It’s time to give someone else a chance. Republican Chris Christie offers New Jersey voters the best hope for turning things around. We support his candidacy, but only as a better alternative to four more years of Corzine.

As if that wasn’t enough, they followed up that enthusiastic support with this synopsis of Christie’s campaign and proposals which they’ve jumped on board with:

Christie has run a disappointing campaign. He has made himself vulnerable on a number of ethics-related issues. He has provided no specific plan for property tax relief. He says he will balance the budget with a projected $8 billion to $10 billion deficit next year while reducing income taxes, corporate taxes and estate taxes. We’re highly skeptical of his ability to do so.

And this is the guy they endorsed? It’s really pretty amazing that a Gannett paper, which has been so critical of Democrats, who the Governor chose not to meet with, could only get themselves motivated enough by Christie to say give him a chance cause he isn’t the other guy. You can see our recap of the endorsements in the race here.

Courier News says for Christie, “the buck stops there”

The Courier News endorsed Chris Christie today, and while it’s certainly no surprise that a Gannett paper endorsed a Republican, the lengths they will go to justify and coddle are flat out amazing:

Earlier in the year Christie appeared a potential shoo-in for victory. He had built a reputation as a corruption-busting U.S. attorney, a resume that resonated with New Jerseyans terribly weary of dirty politicians in their midst. He also carried with him the promise of a cost-cutting Republican who could rein in the Trenton Democratic spending machine devouring the state.

But that message has gotten lost. A few minor skeletons tumbled out of his closet – a poor driving record, an undisclosed loan to a co-worker. But the overriding negative perception of Christie is also entirely unfair, that he’s a would-be tax cutter without a plan. Blame a poorly constructed campaign for that, not Christie.

But who put together the people that are running that campaign if not Christie himself? That’s like saying that the car is responsible for causing an accident, not the driver who was steering. According to their endorsement, the impossible has happened.  What once seemed like a foregone conclusion to them is now in doubt, but none of that is Chris Christie’s fault.

We’ve had leaders in the history of our country who have said, “the buck stops here.” Unfortunately now, even the media is buying into Christie’s buck stops there mentality. Throughout this campaign, Christie has:

  • blamed a motorcyclist for hitting him when he caused the accident
  • said it was a tow truck operator identified him as US Attorney during a separate traffic incident
  • blamed his secretary for his lavish expenditures
  • said he had no knowledge when a long time associate, who he claimed to be just a volunteer, bribed Rick Merkt to get out of the primary
  • And on those minor skeletons, since when is abuse of power a minor issue? In what world are violating the Hatch Act and failing to pay taxes nothing to take a second look at? Christie used his position to get out of problems and then blamed other people for getting in them in the first place. If this is the opinion of the editors, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

    While Christie and Daggett meet with Gannett at 11am, Corzine will be in Elizabethtown

    It looks like Governor Corzine figures he won’t get the Gannett endorsement anyway, so why go talk to their Editorial Board. While Chris Daggett and Chris Christie interivew with Gannett, the Governor is scheduled to speak at the Elizabethtown Gas Customer Care Center ribbon cutting. You can watch the Gannett Editorial Board interview at 11am here:

    What do you think of the Governor not attending to talk with the Gannett Editorial board? He already met with the Star Ledger and the Record of Bergen County Editorial Boards. You can also see his interview with the Atlantic City Press Editorial Board here: