March 26, 2009

What's being said about and by Advance,, Michigan newspapers

tweetHere's some of the latest reporting and blogging about the changes at the Michigan newspapers under the Advance Publication umbrella.

Twitter was still talking, with items like "Being a journalist is a privilege. Who else gets to cover their own funeral" and Tim McGuire saying:
"blogged today on drastic actions at Newhouse's Michigan papers. It's at McGuire on Media. It's got nostalgia AND melancholy."
The Michigan native talks about Michigan newspapers grapple with dramatic solutions.
"Numbness is starting to replace sadness with all these industry downsizing efforts , but the level of experimentation at the Michigan Newhouse papers is admirable. Everybody seems focused on finding the right business revenue models and that search is struggling. This search for the for the right cost model to responsibly serve readers is just as important a quest."
Paper Tiger shares more about the plans by sharing part two of Tony Dearing's interview. Learn more on hires, ad sales and content.

Crain's Detroit spoke to Steve Newhouse, who is spokesman for the Advance Publications on the consolidations, printing conversions and new online products for the eight Booth newspapers in Michigan. He shares some details on Booth salary cuts, including:
  • 15 percent range for Jackson Citizen-Patriot, Grand Rapid Press, Kalamazoo Gazette and Muskegon Chronicle.
  • Up to 50 percent for 345 employees at Bay City Times, Flint Journal and Saginaw News (145 up to 25%, 100 up to 30%, 75 up to 40% and 25 will make 50 percent less.)
Also discussed is why the move were made and what may be coming.

Grand Rapids Publisher Dan Gaydou is quoted in Editor & Publisher on what printing will be done on the Ann Arbor presses - twice weekly print editions and TMC product each week for Ann Arbor, Advance's Jackson Citizen-Patriot and regional copies of The New York Times. There also is some discussion on the Kalamazoo newspaper.

The CEO of published a letter to answer some questions about how the Ann Arbor changes affect that site.

Also on is Paula Gardner, now editor of the Michigan Business Review, talking about the changing model and reflecting on the closing of the Ypsilanti Press and Ann Arbor News. A colleague had recently shared a 1994 Ann Arbor News Ypsi edition:
"It's ironic to me that yet another story on that 1994 page introduces Tony Dearing as editor of the debuting Ypsilanti Press edition.
Today, he's introduced as chief content leader for"
The Review, also under the Advance umbrella, will continue publishing, according to a box inserted in the column on the changing of he news.
"These changes in Ann Arbor will come with pain both internally and in the community. But at this point they also bring hope that a sustainable business model grows in Ann Arbor that supports both the scope for daily news coverage and the professionalism that journalists bring to the job."
Not continuing is the Livingston Community News, a product of the Ann Arbor News. The Livingston Daily publishes a piece on the July ending that will leave 16 people looking for jobs.

The Ypsilanti Courier looks at how the closing of the News and opening of will affect its home base while a student at the University of Michigan Dearborn reflects on his chosen career in "Old Newspapers Don't Die, They Go Online."

While on the subject of death, a former Michigan man says he mourns the losses friends in the newspaper world face but he is done mourning newspapers in A Final Look Into the Coffin.

On Sunday, an Ann Arbor News reporter who already lost a job through a newspaper closing worried her newspaper might go to three-days a week. Read her thoughts in A column I never wanted to write as she rebounds from the closing of a second newspaper in her life.

The Ann Arbor Chronicle led me to "The Internet is not my newspaper" by sharing this from Mark O'Brien's Random Camera blog:
“It’s a sad commentary that a city the size of Ann Arbor cannot support a daily newspaper. I know that things have been tough on newspapers all over the country. But I wonder is it truly symptomatic of declining advertising revenues because of the web that some papers are going under, or is it the result of larger syndicates and big corporations that have only the shareholder’s interest, and not that of the people that they serve?"
Ken Doctor in Content Bridges looks at many of the changes coming to Michigan and echos a question:
"What's the difference between an "online-only" product, with two or three weekly editions (the Ann Arbor model) and three-day-a-week "daily" newspapers with stronger online presence? (Flint-Bay City-Saginaw)"
In the same thoughtful post, he concludes:
"It's one of intention. It's one of seeing the world through a new lens -- the way it is, rather than the way it was, newspaper-filtered and newspaper-mediated."
I encourage you to read "Michigan's spawns new hybrid age of news(papers) for its dance through the possibilities.

Let's end with a more optimistic Twitter find. Jeff Jarvis passed along a tweet from long-time friend Dave Morgan( davemorgannyc on Twitter:

"the Advance/Newhouse move in Michigan: bold, market-leading and right on target."
High praise from the man Jarvis once wanted to hire for Advance Internet and is behind online ad ventures Real Media, Tacoda , and now a self-described "entrepreneur working on the next big thing."

The Ann Arbor News, by the way, caught up with Jarvis to talk about the changes:
"What we need right now is a lot of development, invention and experiments. We will find a way to do it online. ... It is a time of great challenge for all of us in the newspaper industry. It is also a time of critically important innovation. There will be some tremendous learning.''
Reporter Tom Gannert also talked to Randy Siegel, president of Parade Publications and co-founder of the Newspaper Project:
"I think this is a new era in experimentation,. It is a very bold, strategic move. There is certainly some risk involved. But if it works out well, it will help a lot of other newspaper companies around the country figure out their respective strategies.''
(I wrote about his piece on the newspaper naysayers in Watching the Newhouse spiral)

That's it. On to new topics, family matters and housekeeping.

1 comment:

  1. I may reference this for my presentation next week. Still no word from the Journal on how/if they'd like me to tackle the situation in my presentation. What do you think?