Saturday, March 21, 2009

Brooklyn Courier Life Paper

I got a call from the Times' Greg Beyer earlier this week for this article appearing in the Sunday Times tomorrow. Greg usually writes about intriguing outer-borough stories for the City Section, including this well-trafficked semi-obituary for the iconic Bob Guskind. Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has some interesting opinions too about the Brooklyn Paper buyout on March 10, but it looks like his thoughts are cut off in the piece.

If it were an article primarily about Newscorp and their business decisions, it would have been written by Tim Arango and gone in the Business Section. Instead, the article is about the future of the Brooklyn Paper and what it means for local print journalism. The New York Observer printed another piece about the deal, sparked by the Weintrob's sale, though oddly, no one from Courier Life is quoted or even referenced.

My old publisher is optimistic that the chain of papers will survive, whatever form they take. The hyper-local news at the Courier and the Brooklyn paper do probably will, but they must figure out how to be relevant online in order to continue to grow. That will be the real challenge, consolidation or not. I just hope Newscorp moves away from the sentiments expressed by Arlene Morgan, an associate dean at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism at the end of this article, quoted below:

Small papers have ''a very low end on production costs, and the rate of return is very high,'' she said. ''Neighborhood advertising is a big draw, it's more important than content, and it's going to help their bottom line overall.''

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