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GateHouse to buy Schurz publishing division

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Human_Paraquat, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Paul_Bowker

    Paul_Bowker New Member

    More Gatehouse layoffs: I was among a significant number of people laid off by Gatehouse New England today. Important FYI for those applying for the Cape Cod Baseball League summer internship at the Cape Cod Times. Obviously, I won't be handling it now, I thank all the candidates. Once again, a very impressive pool of candidates and I am sad not to be working the 2019 intern, whomever he/she is.
    sgreenwell likes this.
  2. rtse11

    rtse11 Well-Known Member

    Good luck Paul. I'm sorry for your fate today and sincerely hope you land on your feet with something better in the long run.
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    The problem today in covering high schools even in hotbed cities is the deadlines are way too early. I mean a lot of news chains now have 7 or 8 pm closeout times for sports. So good luck getting in 7:30 pm basketball games and summaries and 7 pm football games. Very sad. High school coverage is a goldmine for subscriptions even if the suits gave up on high school coverage long ago. The reason? If a suit does care about sports, which is a stretch to say any suit cares about sports, that suit surely doesn't give a flip about the local high schools. So they get rid of the h.s. writers and that's that. Very very very sad.
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Sorry Mr. Bowker. I am sorry that this happened today. I send you my sincere best wishes. I shed a tear for you and all of us in this industry. Take care, sir.
  5. Paul_Bowker

    Paul_Bowker New Member

    Thank you, everybody, for your thoughts. Together, I hope we can beat this thing. I'd like to think I really helped some young journalists at this stop (and other stops), and a handful of summer interns covering the Cape League who have now moved on to other things. When I got out of school, I was lucky enough to land at the KC Star and go on from there. There were jobs everywhere. You just made your choices and built a career. Tougher to do these days. Keep up the good fight! Your readers deserve it, even the ones who want to pile it on the day after you didn't have a gamer in the paper because they don't realize you had a 9 p.m. deadline for a 7:30 game.

    To say nothing of the 6:30 Super Bowl game. Well, this year, I don't care what time it ends! I'll watch it on my Roku TV and read about it online. And it won't cost the $2.50 that the paper does.
    Baron Scicluna likes this.
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Best of luck to you, sir.

    I Googled to see how many Gatehouse laid off in New England. I could not find a link but, Jesus Christ, it is depressing to see so many have been laid off throughout the last few years. I hope your next position offers you more security.
  7. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    If the Gatehouse suits are making the calls, HS coverage will be cut back or they'll try to hire stringers from IU. The H-T has *owned* high school coverage in that entire area. While IU is a big deal and drives subscriptions out of the area, the high school coverage is critical to the people in the area. Lose that and you'll lose a lot of readership.

    Schurz also owned papers in nearby Spencer, Martinsville & Bedford. Spencer was literally a mom & pop shop run by Tom Douglas and his wife before they sold out to Schurz a couple years ago. Martinsville had already gone through some cuts. Have heard through the grapevine that Bedford's *longtime* SE - Bob Bridge - announced he's retiring after 39 years this week, which comes the same week as the sale is announced. Surprising that it's happening a month before the boys basketball sectional, which in Southern Indiana, is basically Super Bowl week.
  8. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    There was a very good movie made which I hope you are to young to remember called "Breaking Away" that was set in Bloomington. The story revolved around the conflict between the college community and the locals, nicknamed the "Cutters" in the movie after the workers in the regional stone quarries. I always thought the H-T IU coverage was for the college community and the high school coverage for the "Cutters".

    And you have reminded me that I need to go back to Southern Indiana for a visit.
  9. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    I'm way too young to have experienced the movie (my stepfather was an extra in it when he was a student at IU) - the old Tenth Street Stadium where the movie was filmed was long gone by the time I arrived at IU in the 1990s - but I've seen it many times. You sum it up well - the H-T balances its coverage for the IU community (which is a HUGE part of Bloomington) and the "Cutters"/"Townies" really well. To many of the townies, Rex Kirts' coverage of the Bloomington South Panthers was far more important than Hammel's coverage of Bob Knight's Hoosiers.
  10. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Active Member

    The tiny 15,000-circulation (which dropped rapidly) daily where I started was once the second-biggest paper in the Gatehouse chain. It's discouraging to see them continue to buy up reputable publications and quickly savage them. One of the first things they did upon buying that paper was -- I shit you not -- sell the artwork off the walls. I aspire to live long enough to take a dump on the grave of every Gatehouse exec.
  11. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    [Narrator: It is not.]
  12. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    We discussed this extensively on at least one thread. The consensus seemed to be that if the coverage zone of the paper was small enough that the paper could do a gamer on the high school football game then it drew a lot of interest. But the consensus seemed to that if there were so many high schools in the coverage that the paper just printed scores and then did weekly recaps, etc. that reader interest dropped.

    The reason cited seems to be that readers only care about the team in the district they live in. They will read stories about that team but they really have no interest in the other schools in the conference.

    In the City of Bloomington, for example, there are two public high schools. My memory is that the H-T had staffers on both institutions. Bloomington was also small enough that what the two teams did that weekend was a conversational topic. And in Indiana high school basketball is much bigger deal than in football.
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