More cutbacks at the Herald

Fiona Morgan at the Indy has written a scathing analysis of the Durham Herald-Sun situation.  As they also publish the Chapel Hill Herald, her conclusions don't bode well for local media coverage in the future. It's also really sad to read that Ginny Hoyle will depart. Given the reported cutbacks at the N&O, it sure looks like this could be a great opportunity for the Daily Tar Heel to have an even more significant impact in this market.

The Herald-Sun's circulation has declined by 38 percent and its staff by more than half since the Paducah, Ky.-based Paxton Media Group bought the newspaper. Paxton, a private company, owns 32 newspapers, including seven in North Carolina, and one television station. But as chains go, it's a small-time operation. Most of its papers are in small Southeastern and Midwestern towns where there is no competing publication. The Herald-Sun continues to be its biggest newspaper.

But that paper is shrinking in every conceivable way.

- The Herald-Sun's nosedive, August 6, 2008




I must say, I just can't understand the logic of newspaper owners who try to save money by reducing or degrading the one thing of unique value that they have (besides space for real estate ads) - local information and knowledge.

They are killing the paper, not saving it. And yet rarely do I hear of any media actually trying to survive by innovating. The information landscape is changing around them and these dinosaurs just keep lumbering and limping on in the same direction.

Meyer quoting Pruitt:

[...][R]estaurants don't make food worse in a turndown. Car companies don't make cars less safe in a recession. Clothing makers aren't making lower quality clothes. If they did, we would resent thm for it and we should resent them for it. And I wouldn't give them business even in good times after that. Why is it okay to make a newspaper worse in a recession? What's your excuse for making your product worse? In makes no sense. [...]"

Page 195.

The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
By Philip Meyer
Published by University of Missouri Press, 2004
ISBN 0826215610, 9780826215611,M1


(sorry missed my login - PJ)

It's not the recession that's killing newspapers, it's the competition for advertising dollars from all the other new and old news media outlets.  This has been going on since the 90's in both good and bad times.

It's going to take a whole lot of reinvention and innovation if print news is going to survive.  Or, as the dinosaurs who still read the papers like myself leave this earth, so goes the newspaper.

Sounds like the situation is excellent! You should start your own paper, Fred.

Ginny Hoyle has done an outstanding job for the Herald-Sun.  She's bright, articulate, and has reported the HES-CES merger plans objectively. 

Has anyone heard of Ginny's plans?


I agree that Ginny will be missed by those who appreciated her fair coverage of issues in the rest of Orange County.

I haven't been able to confirm it but I heard that she is moving to Gainsville, FL with her significant other (boyfriend/fiance/husband?) who will be attending grad school at Univ of Florida in the fall.


In this morning's CHH, editor Neil Offen has his by-line on two stories, one on the Eve Carson case and the other on the Chamber's legislative breakfast that he attended. With reduced staffing at the CHH, I suspect that we will see more reporting by Neil. 

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