Even if Trib is Saved, Will Not Be the Same Paper

The Albuquerque Tribune might have a shot of coming back. Or it might not. A story from last week's Trib says the investing company who is looking to buy the afternoon paper is more confident than they should be.
A spokesman for the Tribune's parent company, E.W. Scripps, however said the process wasn't that far along.

"We don't believe we are as far along in the process as Mr. Carroll's statement would suggest," said Timothy Stautberg, the Cincinnati company's vice president for communications and investor relations.

Mr. Carroll is Tom Carroll the president of the public relations firm DW Turner. DW Turner reported previously they would not be shy about being hands on in the newspaper process -- and that means, if the deal goes down, the Tribune won't be the same old paper we've come to know and love.

Let's just see about DW Turner. According to the firm's client list, they have represented such companies as BP, Moly Corp and Wal-Mart. in a case study, they helped out Louisiana Energy Services get nuclear registration. They "helped develop and launch an aggressive grassroots and public awareness campaign intended to build popular and political support for the construction of a $1.6 billion uranium enrichment facility in Eunice, New Mexico" for LES.

In other words, DW Turner is pro big-business. And also are big backers of Republicans. Douglas Turner, the founder and CEO of DW Turner, also happened to be the "campaign manager for Governor Gary Johnson's (R-NM) 1994 and 1998 elections and worked as general consultant for both administrations." Douglas has also "been a member of the Republican Governors Association National Finance Committee."

Douglas donated to Republicans, including Pete Domenici and George W Bush. No Democrats made the cut for Douglas.

And perhaps it is no surprise Turner wants to buy a newspaper. In a blog post on his company website, he called News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch "[m]y favorite mogul". The post was about Murdoch putting in a bid for the Wall Street Journal (which Murdoch later purchased). Douglas wrote "if Rupert gets his hands on it, and I predict he will, the newspaper that breaks through and will rewrite the rules for the newspaper industry in the digital age."

When writing about the initial news that DW Turner was putting together an investor's group to take a look at the paper, Joe Monahan wrote:

Carroll and Turner are both Republicans. Would they start a local version of the conservative Washington Times[...]?
So it seems pretty damn clear that if Carroll and Turner get their hands on the Tribune, things won't look the same at the Albuquerque paper.

But even if they don't put their politics into the pages of the paper, it looks like things won't be the same anyway. There has been a huge exodus of staffers from the Tribune to other papers.

Gene Grant switched to the Journal in October. Burque Babble recently noticed the departure of Thelma Domenici, which happened in early November. In the news division, both Kate Nash and Sue Vorenberg will be joining the SF New Mexican staff in January.

These are just the staff departures which I have noticed. I'm sure there are many more. So no matter what happens, even if the Tribune is "saved" it won't be the same paper that it is now.

The Tribune as we know it is dead, even if it is saved.

Also posted at New Mexico FBIHOP

Views: 16

Comment by Dr Dan on December 28, 2007 at 7:58am
I was always Skeptical that what ever was left after Scripts left would be the Albuquerque Tribune. That paper, or what is left of it is but a memory. I’m hopeful that what ever incarnation is left will compete with the Journal, and provide real competition. That is the spirit of the Tribune
Comment by LP on December 28, 2007 at 8:23am
Sophie, maybe I should have said "writers" instead of "staffers".

And Al, the problem is we already get the biased coverage from the Journal. We don't need to have two right wing rags in our fair city.
Comment by Gene on December 28, 2007 at 9:41am
...none taken.
Comment by bleve on December 28, 2007 at 10:03am
"and the trouble with Big Business and Republican 'types' controlling a newspaper is??..."

Um... its called the voice of the people. Here's a newsflash Al, many people in Albuquerque believe the quality of journalism that the Journal puts out is deplorable... not to mention extremely slanted. To have another one would be a disservice to the good people of this city.

The Journal has been extremely fortunate to control the market here, not due to the quality of news they put out, but solely due to the lack of a competing morning paper. They've become comfortable and in laying back in their status they've also become extremely lazy in the reporting department. Printing 90% right-wing syndicated columnists within a demographic that doesn't match that viewpoint isn't helping matters.

What gives me solace is the utter cluelessness in their approach to the web. Besides the mess that is their website, they actually stop a visitor and make them watch an unintended parody of their news organization before being allowed to read an article.

If the Trib is dead, the rise of alternative news outlets online will be the Journal's demise if they continue with their lazy reporting and patronizing, overtly right-wing stances.
Comment by statler and waldorf on December 28, 2007 at 1:15pm
once banned, FYI, the only Albuquerque newspaper run by a Big Business conglomerate is the Tribune.

Comment by LP on December 28, 2007 at 11:40pm
oh, and regarding the title of this post? apparently it shouldn't be the same paper as it wasn't successful. sorry folks it's the truth.
It has been widely acknowledged that it is not the content of the paper that contributed so heavily to its downfall as the afternoon-paper status.
Look around the nation, and you'll see that afternoon papers just don't survive -- even if the content is great. If the Tribune went head to head against the Journal, I hope the Trib's better reporting and stories would put it ahead. It is hard to find anyone in the state who thinks the Journal is a better product.
Comment by bleve on December 28, 2007 at 11:40pm
"what were the readers of this blog doing in their 20's?"

Probably reading the Abq Journal's endorsement of George W. Bush.

"what proof have we seen that turner/carrol can run any kind of paper, let alone a rotten one."

None... but the alternative is more endorsements by the Journal for said, ehem... president. Oh, and I believe journalistic integrity has something to do with the whole equation... you know, interests and the conflict thereof.


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