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East Bay papers downsize

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HanSenSE, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    Spent some time with OC Register folks last night. All former employees were invited back for a last look at the Grand Avenue office in Santa Ana. The event eventually moved on to a brewpub near that office. OCR is moving next week to a business park in Anaheim near Angel Stadium. The printing will be done at sites in Fullerton and Riverside. All the copyeditors have already been shifted to an office in Monrovia, about 40 miles away into the teeth of the freeway system. So, a 45-minute to 2-hour drive depending on traffic.
    Lots of whispers I heard indicated that adding the BANG papers to the current desk is the worst of all the decisions Digital First Media has made.
     
  2. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Are the OCR and the orther LANG papers still operating with separate editorial staffs. For example, are there still separate beat reporters in sports?
     
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    It's interesting how newspaper companies copy each other. The new trend is for the higherups at metros and medium size newspapers selling the property, often an older, historic monument type building on lucrative land, for zillions of dollars and moving the operation to some tiny building somewhere. I'm sure the CEO gets mo$t of the money from the sale of the properties. It's kind of sad to see these incredible buildings get torn down with condos or apartment lofts going up on the property. It's amazing how it always goes back to lining the pockets of the CEOs. I'm sure it buys some time for the newspaper higherups in the specific cities where buildings are sold, but it is yet another sign of the sleaziness of this business.
    I can just picture the meeting of the local higherups: Guy/gal in charge: "Print subscriptions are down again this quarter; we lost another big grocery store advertiser, but we're hanging on with the others; Internet ads are pretty much nonexistent. However, I've got some good news. I've reached agreement to sell the building and the land for $200 million and the national office is pleased. We'll be finding a strip mall to move into soon. We won't have space for everybody so we'll tackle the issue of office space later." Applause. Meeting over.
     
  4. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    Not in sports, except for preps. All of the major beats are shared, mostly by OCR or L.A. Daily News writers. All copy is available to all. For example, an A1 centerpiece in the OCR last week was the story about Rod Carew getting the heart of O.C. football player Konrad Reuland, who died from an aneurysm. That story was written by the San Jose Mercury News. They got it because the Reuland played at Stanford before a couple of stops in the NFL.
    I don't see any of the other papers so I don't know how different they are.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 3:05 AM
  5. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    One of the technological changes in the newspaper industry that goes unmentioned. 50 years ago the editorial production of the paper had to occur close to the printing presses so it could be typeset. Now the editorial production can be in the Philippines (I predict that is coming soon) and printed wherever.

    So a liquidator such as Gatehouse buys a paper. They find someone to print it. Then they can sell that valuable downtown property that was purchased a 100 years ago for a lot of money. Absence a printing plant and with a smaller editorial staff they can move to cheaper quarters, especially if they have a design hub somewhere. The North County Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Tampa Tribune were all papers where the headquarters were sold for virtually the entire purchase price. It is going to happen everywhere.
     
  6. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't call the OCR building anything close to "incredible."
     
  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Sort of SOP for what's now known as Digital First. Santa Cruz Sentinel had a plant on prime real estate in downtown Santa Cruz, but were relocated to Scotts Valley (about 15 minutes away up Highway 17), the downtown land sold and printing is now done over the hill in San Jose. Mercury News recently moved back to downtown San Jose from its long-time plant in northeast San Jose, which just became too big because of all the downsizing. Of course, with all the copy editors gone, there will be plenty of room in the new building as well.
     
  8. cisforkoke

    cisforkoke Well-Known Member

    Yes, that single example neutralizes the entire trend he was describing. Great counterpoint.
     
  9. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Sadly, those old buildings are the most valuable items left at many newspapers. Selling them off keeps the doors open a couple more years.
     
    wicked and HanSenSE like this.
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    I'm in a very similar situation, just not in California. Our building sits on some damn prime-valuable property that other businesses covet greatly. The property is by far the most valuable thing my paper has at this point. Wonder how long before it's sold and we move into a strip mall between a Subway and a Sports Clips.
     
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Not a Digital First paper, but the former Watsonville Register-Pajaronian building is now a Grocery Outlet. Seems appropriate, since it's about the only place journos can afford to buy groceries.
     
  12. cisforkoke

    cisforkoke Well-Known Member

     
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