1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

RIP Boca Raton News (the print edition, at least)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Publishes final edition Sunday. At one point, it was Knight-Ridder's poster child for "the future of newspaper design." That was bad. Then things got worse. A shell of what it once was.


    Good retrospective by Bob Norman.

    ... and here's the 2001 New Times story he refers to: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2001-08-30/news/bad-news/
  2. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News


    By the late 1980s, Knight Ridder had its corporate finger in the wind, trying to determine what readers wanted from a newspaper. The company had been criticized by Wall Street for putting too much emphasis on quality journalism and not enough on the bottom line. Daily newspaper readership across the United States had been in steady decline since the mid-'60s, and editors were scrambling to find ways to make their product relevant. They started calling readers "customers" and talked about filling the paper with brief, bite-size, superlocal stories. Public-service journalism came into vogue and so, unfortunately, did focus groups.

    Jim Batten, Knight Ridder's CEO at the time, embraced focus groups with the ardor of an alcoholic in AA. Suddenly Knight Ridder was less interested in the historic role of the press as the fourth estate and more interested in plumbing the reader's psyche. Long stories, government coverage, and international news were deemed irritating to readers, and the last thing execs wanted was to lose readers.
  3. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    Along toward the time KR shat upon the Boca News with the 25/43 Project, whoever was the publisher at the Boca News was one of the panelists at a Central Florida pro chapter SPJ meeting at the Brown Derby (if I remember right) in Orlando. We savaged him; to his credit he held his ground. Insisted that we were wrong and that eventually we'd all embrace the changes being wrought at the Boca News because they'd revolutionize the industry for the better.

    Sad, really. Up until then it was a good little paper holding its own on the Coliseum floor with the lions.
  4. Karl Hungus

    Karl Hungus Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    Wow, the first failed pub to hit home for me. When I was an SID at a D3 school they did a great job picking up my stuff on a volleyball player from Boca that was playing 700 miles away from home. Especially at an academic heavyweight school that had all of its kids come from major metro areas, this one of the best to work with.
  5. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    I remember the days of Vin Mannix, Nels Jensen, David Foster and Cynthia Thuma, 25 years ago, like it was yesterday.

    I remember when the late Jim Driscoll visited my fifth-grade class and put me on this silly track as if it were 10 seconds ago.

    RIP, Boca Raton News.
  6. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    This is sad.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    I didn't agree with what KR was doing with Boca when they did it. But I did agree with KR's decision that if it was going to play mad scientist, it do so someplace small first before imposing bizarre schemes on larger papers. This generally runs counter to the desire of many large-paper editors, who usually would like to go down in history as the person to successfully reinvent journalism. But it is, in my opinion, the saner way to approach this.
  8. Magic In The Night

    Magic In The Night Active Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    Did not realize Nels Jensen came through there. But Vin Mannix, and especially Cynthia Thuma were the real deal. RIP Boca News. Once a good little thing for that community.
  9. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    Cindy Thuma is still rockin' the high school coverage down here as a stringer for the Sun-Sentinel and I of course used her as much as I could when I was the SE at the Boca News from '98-99.

    Vin Mannix, Hawaiian shirts and all, is still a legend in these parts even though he never got his face on the side of a city bus like he did up in Bradenton.

    Unfortunately, when I saw the news yesterday it hit me more like a foregone conclusion than a shock, sort of like the news of Walter Cronkite's passing at the age of 92. I came onboard in the fall of 1996 when it was still a Knight-Ridder paper, so I watched in pain as CNHI took over a year later and then I left for Naples about a year before they moved into those posh digs off of Congress.

    I will forever be grateful for the people I worked with there, people of the highest quality like Mannix, former editor-in-chief John Futch, former managing editor Phyllis Gilchrist, all of my fellow sports guys -- Ken Sorensen, Wes Nakama, Marcus Nelson, Jamey Eisenberg, Bob Gosman and Ryan Schuster, copy desk people like Wayne Lockwood and too many others to mention. We had one heck of a talented crew there in the late 1990s.

    And being as it was where I was given my first (and thankfully last) management position, and that it was my hometown paper (Vin Mannix wrote about my lone high school sports highlight, scoring the winning goal during penalty kicks in our soccer season opener), the Boca Raton News will always hold a special place in my heart.

    So a moment of silence is in order I believe for a newspaper that fought hard to stand its ground in between two much bigger and stronger opponents in The Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel.

    On a side note and perhaps a little known fact, the News also was the very first stop for one Ethan Skolnik of S-S, Post and Herald fame as well as AJC writer Ken Sugiera among others.
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Re: RIP Boca Raton News

    Apparently Allegedly it will live on as an online-only product.


    Good luck with that.

    Apparently the guy who originally put the word out — a columnist at the Boca News who also BLOGS! for the Sun-Sentinel — stands by his original statement that the paper will be completely shut down. He also told Bob Norman the Boca News' web site has almost no revenue.

    More coverage of the latter, including the fact that the final print edition of the Boca Raton News didn't mention that it was the final print edition of the Boca Raton News: http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2009/08/boca_raton_news_coverage.php

    Nine hundred bucks a month? Can't make a business out of that revenue, but it's actually more than I figured on.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page