DAILY WISCONSIN

Newspapers

Business Leeches Dislike Private Initiative 

You see, in Janesville, extremely wealthy individuals and politically connected pals including large corporations with hundreds of millions in cash on hand focus more on getting substantial capital hand-outs and other free stuff, usually by way of lucrative TIF deals, from local taxpayers before they commit to Janesville. It’s the first commandment from their economic development bible here. Thou shalt not invest in Janesville or create jobs before capturing some free TIF surplus capital, free land or other free stuff. Their second commandment is a warning for local taxpayers: Thou shalt not believe in false hope that growth will come without providing “incentives.” You get the idea.

Via Rock Netroots: In Janesville, Potential From Developer Attracts The Moocher Club.

Local Print Capitulates on the Way Out

“Not far from Whitewater, Janesville’s local newspaper finds itself in an access-to-information conflict with the Janesville School District.  There’s no surprise in any of this.  (Quick note: I’m using that paper as an example because it’s close-at-hand.  One could find other examples easily enough.) For years that paper has ridiculed citizens’ petition efforts, toadied to business…

Public Records Requests Are A Right, Not a Gift 

So a local paper complains that a local school superintendent won’t comply with a public records request, won’t put the paper on a media contact list, and simply ‘must’ improve communications. 

A few points –

1. Compliance with a public records request isn’t a ‘communications’ issue; it’s a legal issue, of rights of residents under Wisconsin law….

Via 4 Points About Public Records Requests @ FREE WHITEWATER.

Steep Cuts Await

To get a sense of how much the Journal Sentinel’s staff might be cut, I compared its current editorial staff (editors, writers, photo, design and online people) of 117 people with Gannett papers in two mid-sized cities. The Louisville Courier Journal, in a metro area of 1.3 million, has just 63 total staff covering these same functions. The Indianapolis Star, in a metro area of 1.76 million people, has 89 staff covering these functions. Given Milwaukee’s metro population of 1.55 million, you’d expect the staffing to fall somewhere between the other two cities, meaning the Journal Sentinel loses in the neighborhood of 35-40 staff.

But considering that Gannett also owns 11 other newspapers in Wisconsin (more than it owns in any state but Ohio), there may be other reductions in overlap it achieves between the Milwaukee paper and the 11 smaller publications.

Odds are the people let go will be the most veteran, highest-paid staff, the ones most knowledgable about the community they are covering.

Via Bruce Murphy: How Gannett Will Shrink the Journal Sentinel @ Urban Milwaukee.

Question of the Day™: ‘If J-S is bought, will it suck more or less?’

While Gannett has its own set of issues as a corporate behemoth with a desire to delocalize and lame out news as much as possible, there is the smile that goes on my face when I see that the WOW County Rag Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is going to likely be looking at a shakeup in their corporate offices. Couldn’t happen to a better group of self-absorbed oligarch-suckers, if I do say so myself.

Via If J-S is bought, will it suck more or less? @ Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse.

Goodbye, Local!

Gannett Co. Inc. said Wednesday it plans to buy Journal Media Group — the parent company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — for about $280 million in cash.The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016 if it receives regulatory and shareholder approval, adds Wisconsin’s biggest newspaper to Gannett, which already owns newspapers in Green Bay, the Fox Valley and other important markets in the state….

The agreement is part of an era of further consolidation in the U.S. newspaper industry, as newly pure-play newspaper companies take steps to meet the competitive threat of scaled digital news and advertising businesses, the companies said in a statement.When the deal is completed, Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, The Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star, will be in 116 U.S. markets and have a digital audience of more than 100 million unique visitors each month.

Via Gannett to buy Journal Media Group, parent of Journal Sentinel, for $280 million @ JSOnline.